CLINTON, S.C. – Duke took its first step towards reining in yet another ACC Championship on Friday, putting together a phenomenal opening round to finish the day with sole possession of first place.
The Blue Devils rounded out the afternoon with a 277 (-11) performance, highlighted by three under par efforts.
Teammates Matt Oshrine and Jake Shuman both shot 68s (-4) en route to grabbing a share of fourth place on the leaderboard. The pair concluded the round in almost identical fashion, as both would go on to tally one bogey and five birdies apiece.
The tee played a vital role for both on Friday, as placement for the approach shots was what enabled each of them to find the green so easily.
“With this golf course, if you put it in good position, you give yourself a good number of opportunities,” Oshrine said. “I would’ve liked to play the par fives better, but I played the par threes really well by putting solid. I made a couple 25-footers that kept my round momentum going.”
Shuman not only fed off of Oshrine’s momentum, but by following the updates on the leaderboard as well. “This was certainly the best start we’ve had as a team at the ACCs since I’ve been at Duke,” Shuman noted. “Being able to see the leaderboard gave us a little bit of a confidence boost. It’s nice to know we won’t be starting the second round having to make up ground. For the most part, it was a pretty stress free round, which is hard to do in the postseason.”
Alexander Matlari finished the day tied for seventh after notching a 69 (-3). Despite tacking three bogeys onto the scorecard, the senior managed to garner six birdies, a team-high for the afternoon.
Chandler Eaton continued his stretch of consistency, balancing out a lone bogey with a birdie to finish the day even. The freshman’s performance was good enough for a share of 18th.
Even with three bogeys and a double bogey on the afternoon, sophomore Alex Smalley showed great resolve by tallying four birdies to finish his first round at 73 (+1), and tied for 25th.
Action will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, and will have coverage via the ACC Network Extra (beginning at 2:00 p.m.). Live scoring will also be available via golfstatresults.com.