ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Junior Chandler Eaton fired a second-round 67 as the No. 2 Duke men’s golf team remained near the top of the leaderboard Saturday at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational in Alpharetta, Ga.
Eaton’s bogey-free 67 was one off Saturday’s low round of the day as the junior, playing in his hometown, jumped 30 spots on the leaderboard. He’ll enter Sunday’s final round in a tie for 13th with a 36-hole total of 141 (-3) after opening with a 74 Friday.
“I thought that I adjusted really well today,” said Eaton. “The wind direction and weather was totally different and I did well to get in tune with it. I played with much more freedom today; tried to get in a good flow and be completely fearless. I am proud for coming back from a difficult day yesterday.”
Senior Alex Smalley followed Friday’s 68 with a 69 on Saturday and is three strokes off the lead held by USC’s Justin Yuh. Smalley’s 36-hole total of seven-under 137 has him tied for third with four other golfers.
As a team, the Blue Devils were four strokes better than Friday, posting a six-under 282, and are in sixth place with 18 holes remaining. Duke is eight-under overall and 12 strokes back of first-place No. 15 Clemson. The stacked 14-team field has No. 11 Wake Forest (-19) in second, followed by No. 10 USC (-18), No. 3 Georgia Tech (-17), No. 5 Alabama (-12) and No. 2 Duke (-8) in the top six.
Sophomore Adrien Pendaries, who fired a team-best 68 yesterday, carded an even-par 72 today and is tied for 11th. Classmate Evan Katz shaved two strokes off yesterday’s round to post a 74 Saturday. He is tied for 62nd, while junior Steven DiLisio knocked four strokes off to sign for a 76 Saturday and is 72nd.
“We have great opportunity to make a move up the leaderboard,” said Eaton. “The weather is going to be cold and create some challenges which is exactly what a team like us, who is 10-ish shots back, dreams of. If some of those teams don’t keep the hammer down, our goal is to be sneaking up right next to them.”
Duke is off tomorrow at 9:25 a.m. ET and paired with Georgia Tech and Alabama. Live scoring can be found at golftstat.com.