NEW LONDON, N.C. – Finishing the day with the lowest round of the field, the Duke Blue Devils catapulted themselves five spots up the leaderboard after a dominating 12-under (276) performance in the ACC Championship at Old North State Club on Saturday.
The Blue Devils now own a share of fourth with Virginia, sitting at 14-under entering tomorrow’s final round.
Alex Smalley picked up right where he left off on Friday, rounding out Saturday with a five-under 67 to move him to seven under for the tournament.
“Individually I played pretty well today,” said Smalley. “My group played really well. We believe we could make a run today, so we just have to go out [tomorrow] and play like we did today. We can’t settle for anything, we have to keep attacking.”
The junior, opening on 10, proceeded to card a bogeyless nine, snaring three of his six birdies on 11, 16 and 18. His only blemish proved to be a bogey on No. 3 that came shortly after making the turn, but it would fall between birdies on 1 and 4.
Finishing just behind Smalley was Adrien Pendaries, who posted a 68 (-4) that featured six birdies, including five spanning from holes 1 to 8. The freshman’s day was enough to drop him under-par for the tournament (-2), and will have him entering Sunday tied for 24th.
“Today was a pretty good day, a little better than yesterday,” Pendaries said. “I was playing some really good golf and I felt like it was just a matter of time before I made a few birdies. I think all in all, I hit a lot of good shots.”
Senior Jake Shuman responded well to yesterday’s four-over 76, shooting a two-under 70 in his second round.
Tallying five birdies—three more than yesterday—the Needham, Mass. native earned his ninth under-par round of the season, as well as his 20th counted round.
"I love college golf because we play as a team and I usually feed off the momentum of seeing the other guys hit good shots and make putts," said Shuman. "Luckily, there were some leaderboards out there and I was able to see the guys’ scores once I got to the ninth green. Once I saw that guys were playing well, it gave me a bit of a boost for the rest of the round. Tomorrow is an opportunity to win our third tournament in a row and I can’t wait to tee it up in the morning."
After finishing his first-ever ACC Championship round over par, Evan Katz answered with a one-under 71, comprised of three birdies and a pair of bogeys.
Chandler Eaton rounded out the lineup with an even 72, garnering three birdies to match three bogeys.
Head coach Jamie Green commended his players following their impressive performance; specifically, the way they carried themselves throughout the round.
“Coach Heintz and I noticed that [the team] looked very matter of fact, very business-like,” Green said. “They looked at ease—not casual, but just ‘I’m taking care of business out here.’ They didn’t look phased. I kind of like not knowing if somebody’s two or three-under or if they’re even par. So tomorrow, we’re going to go out there and, as basketball terms go, we’re just going to shoot.”
Leaderboard Through Second Round:
The Blue Devils have been placed in the first wave for tomorrow’s final round, teeing off from the first hole at 8:30 a.m.
Live scoring will be available via golfstatresults.com, and a final recap will be posted following the round.