PALM CITY, Fla. -- The No. 2 Duke men’s golf team was unable to continue the momentum from a strong second round, and posted a seventh-place finish at the Valspar Collegiate that wrapped up early Tuesday morning in Palm City, Fla.
The Blue Devils had four golfers in the 60’s during Monday’s second round that saw the team post a 15-under 269 – the second-lowest round of the 15-team field for the tournament. But Duke closed with a two-over 288 on Tuesday, finishing the tournament at five-under 847 in a seventh-place tie with No. 8 Texas.
Senior Alex Smalley led Duke, placing in a tie for fifth with a seven-under 206 on the par-71 Floridian Golf Club. Smalley posted rounds of 67, 65 and 74 and carding seven birdies during Monday’s second round, but just two birdies in the final round.
The tournament began Sunday. Monday’s 36-hole day was suspended by darkness, forcing Duke and South Florida to return to the course early Tuesday to complete the round. No. 6 Wake Forest claimed the team title at 25-under, followed by No. 13 Auburn (-19), No. 31 South Carolina (-15) and No. 1 Oklahoma State (-14) in the top five. The Cowboys Matthew Wolff (-14) was the individual medalist.
The loaded 15-team featured 14 teams ranked in Golfweek’s Top 40.
Junior Chandler Eaton posted a tied-21st finish, bouncing back from an opening-round 73 with sub-par rounds of 68 and 70 to post a two-under 213. Junior Adrien Pendaries also responded after his 74 on Sunday to sign for rounds of 67 and 71 and post a one-under 212 and finished tied for 26th.
Junior Steven DiLisio was tied for 48th (218, +5) and sophomore Evan Katz was 77th (228, +15).
Duke is back in action at the Hootie at Bulls Bay in Awendaw, S.C.
Duke at Valspar Collegiate (T7th; 290-269-288=847)
T5th -- Alex Smalley (67-65-74=206; -5)
T21st -- Chandler Eaton (73-68-70=211; -2)
T26th -- Adrien Pendaries (74-67-71=212; -1)
T48th -- Steven DiLisio (76-69-73=218; +5)
77th -- Evan Katz (77-77-74=228; +15)