NORMAL, Ill. – Fighting off wind and flurries in Sunday’s final round of the D.A. Weibring, Duke men’s golf successfully took the crown at both the team and individual levels.
Finishing with a 15-stroke lead over Wisconsin, the Blue Devils secured their first tournament victory of the 2017-18 campaign handedly; however, the individual title was not as clear-cut.
A three-way tie for first between Duke’s very own Adam Wood and Chandler Eaton as well as Wisconsin’s Griffin Barela made for an exhilarating finish as both teams pushed to get their rounds in before the snow began to accumulate.
Inclement weather was indeed the theme of the weekend, causing all 17 teams to finish above par with well over half finishing 50-over or higher.
Senior Adam Wood wrapped up his weekend with an even 71, giving him a 217 (+4) overall. The Zionsville, Ind. native nullified his back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 4 and 5 with birdies on 2 and 6, leaving room for 14 pars on a challenging day at the course.
“I always give it my absolute best when I get the chance to play, and it was encouraging to see the progress I've made considering I haven't had any tournament reps since February,” Wood said. “It was anything but perfect and I have plenty of shots to work on, but I can be proud of how I managed the conditions and am happy that I contributed to getting the team victory.”
Wood also spoke to what he learned about himself as a golfer, and the experiences he was able to pull from to help him get the title.
“I would say I was more in touch with my old self this week in that I found a rhythm on day 1, which I’ve struggled to do in the past few weeks. I have worked hard on the accuracy of my wedge play which paid off this weekend, and I leaned on my putter when I had to. In the end, I learned just how much progress I've made in my short game and what it feels like to get back in rhythm.”
Sophomore Chandler Eaton’s card was a bit more colorful, as he would go on to garner four birdies and five bogeys on the day to give him a one-over 72 and, like Wood, a 217 (+4) for the event.
“I am stoked for the team and for Adam,” said Eaton. “It was by far the coldest and windiest conditions I have ever played a tournament in. I think the difference for me this week was my ability to move on when bad things happened to me. I was also able to learn and adjust to conditions—the highly variable and difficult conditions. I learned so much about myself and I think I really improved as a player and person this week.”
Wong’s final round resulted in a 73 (+2), an effort that helped him finish with a share of fourth, a strong statement for a freshman playing as an individual.
Smalley’s 219 was capped with an even 71, identical to his second-round total from yesterday afternoon.
Pendaries improved every round of the event, jumping from a first round of eight-over par to an even second round, concluding with a one-under final round on Sunday. Bogeys on 1 and 17 would end up being outnumbered by birdies on 3, 4 and 15.
Evan Katz finished his weekend on a high note, signing for a two-under 69 to push his overall score to 223 (+10).
Junior Shrish Dwivedi also posted a 223 (+10) this weekend, posting a one-over 72 that featured birdies on 6 and 14.
Final Leaderboard Rankings:
Duke’s next action will come on April 13 when they open up play in the Stitch Intercollegiate at MacGregor Downs in Cary, N.C. The tournament will be the team’s final event before the ACC Championship later this month.