GREENSBORO, N.C. -- For the first time since 2007, the Duke women’s golf team holds a lead at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship following day one as the Blue Devils carded a four-under-par, 280, and leads by 10 strokes with 36 holes left at the 6,163-Yard, Par 71 Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
“I am quite pleased,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks after the first round. “We were shining in all areas. We came in strong - I love a strong finish. This golf course can absolutely nail you. The greens were rolling at about 12 and they are firm. It is extremely challenging. So I am very proud of the ladies.”
In the team standings, the Blue Devils lead by 10 strokes over North Carolina (280), while Wake Forest (298), N.C. State (299), Boston College (301), Virginia (303), Maryland (307), Florida State (308) and Miami (308) rounded out the field. Duke’s round of 280 is a season-best for the Blue Devils and is 12 strokes better than any first round for the Blue Devils this season.
“Well, right now it feels a little bit like the days of old, but we have two more days,” said Brooks. “Quite frankly, where we are ranked, where the other teams are ranked - it is not like the days of old. We are going to have to work really hard over the next two days to win this tournament.”
Duke’s four-under-par ledger of 280 is an ACC Championship record at Sedgefield Country Club since the tournament started being played in 2009. The Blue Devils’ 10-stroke first round lead is the largest at the ACC Championship since Duke led by 11 strokes in 2002. It is the first time Duke has led a tournament after the first round since the Landfall Tradition on Oct. 23, 2010.
Duke has a solid showing to start the championship as four Blue Devils shot even par or better for the day -- Alejandra Cangrejo (69), Stacey Kim (70), Lindy Duncan (70) and Laetitia Beck (70). Three different Blue Devils led the tournament at one point in the first round as Duncan led early, Kim in the middle and Cangrejo at the end of Friday’s round.
Cangrejo, a native of Bogota, Colombia, opened strong with birdies on No. 1 and No. 5 to move to two-under-par. She hit her approach on the 386-yard, par four first hole to within inches and holed a six-foot putt on the par-five No. 5. Cangrejo ran into trouble on the sixth and eighth holes, before rolling in a birdie on No. 9 to make the turn at one-under-par, 34.
“I am very proud of her,” commented Brooks on Cangrejo. “She has been working a little bit with her swing. She has really gone on blind faith with me on that and it is starting to pay off. So I am just very proud of her.”
On the back nine, Cangrejo posted three straight pars before collecting a birdie on the 371-yard, par four 13th hole. Cangrejo registered her fourth birdie on No. 13 but came back to have a bogey on the 14th hole to drop back to one-under-par. After three consecutive pars, she tapped in for her fifth birdie of the day on the 18th hole to finish with a two-under-par, 70.
“I was putting very well,” commented Cangrejo on her under-par round. “These greens - you have to be very careful because they were very fast today. Some of the pin placements are very tricky. My putting worked very well. I think I had one three-putt, but other than that I was very focused on getting the right speed, getting it somewhere around the hole and hope it would go in.”
Cangrejo leads the individual action by one stroke over two Duke teammates -- Kim (70) and Duncan (70) along with Olafia Kristinsdottir (70) of Wake Forest. After hitting 10 greens, eight fairways and registering 27 putts, Cangrejo had a season-best round of 69 and totaled her fourth even or under par round this year.
A product of Columbus, Ga., Kim opened with a two-under-par ledger through 11 holes as she notched nine pars and two birdies on No. 3 and No. 11. Kim rolled in a 45-foot putt from off the green on the third hole and stick her approach shot to within five feet, while making her birdie on the 11th hole. She suffered bogeys on No. 12 and No. 14 to drop back to even, but responded with a four-foot birdie on the 445-yard, par five 15th to move back to one-under-par where she finished. Kim hit 10 greens, nine fairways and had 28 putts on the day.
Duncan, who is ranked No. 1 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, carded a one-under-par, 70, after totaling four birdies on the day. She registered two birdies over the first two holes and led the tournament early, but had a tough stretch where she bogeyed No. 6, No. 8 and No. 11 to drop to one-over-par. Duncan, who is from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., closed strong with birdies on No. 15 and No. 18 to finish. She notched her 15th round this season of even or under par. Duncan hit 11 greens, eight fairways and had 29 putts on the day.
After starting slow with four bogeys over her first 10 holes, Beck collected herself and closed strong with four birdies over her final six holes to finish at even par, 71. She is tied for fifth overall heading into round two. Beck, a native of Caesarea, Israel, collected birdies to close out the day on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes. She hit her last seven greens in a row and eight of her last nine. On the day, Beck had 32 putts, hit a team-best 15 greens and hit nine fairways.
Courtney Ellenbogen, who is out of Blacksburg, Va., carded a 77 on Friday and is tied for 30th overall. She hit seven greens, eight fairways and had 30 putts on the day. Ellenbogen rolled in her lone birdie of the day on the 15th. She played her final 12 holes at one-under-par.
As a team, Duke registered 17 birdies on the day. The Blue Devils will open the second round beginning at 10:10 a.m., along with North Carolina and Wake Forest on Saturday, April 14.
“That is the thing, that is what we talked about,” said Brooks. “Let’s be ready to go like it is the last hole of the tournament on the first hole. Let’s play like there is no tomorrow and they really did. Right out of the box we were under par so that is what we set ourselves to do.”
• The first round lead in the ACC Championship is a first since 2007 for the Blue Devils.
• Duke has won 16 ACC Championships, but has not won a title since 2008.
• Over the last three years at Sedgefield, Duke has dug deep holes and hasn’t been able to claim the title. In 2012, the Blue Devils now lead and will look to hold on for a 17th ACC Championship.
1 Team Scores
1 Duke 280 -4
2 North Carolina 290 +6
3 Wake Forest 298 +14
4 North Carolina State 299 +15
5 Boston College 301 +17
6 Virginia 303 +19
7 Maryland 307 +23
T8 Florida State 308 +24
T8 Miami 308 +24
Start Finish Player Team Scores
- 1 Alejandra Cangrejo Duke 69 -2
- T2 O. Kristinsdottir Wake Forest 70 -1
- T2 Stacey Kim Duke 70 -1
- T2 Lindy Duncan Duke 70 -1
- T5 Allie White North Carolina 71 E
- T5 Katherine Perry North Carolina 71 E
- T5 Laetitia Beck Duke 71 E
- 8 Katia Joo Boston College 72 +1
- T9 Brittany Marchand North Carolina State 73 +2
- T9 Marissa Dodd Wake Forest 73 +2
- T11 Cristina McQuiston Boston College 74 +3
- T11 Emily Gimpel Maryland 74 +3
- T11 Juliet Vongphoumy Maryland 74 +3
- T11 Catherine O'Donnell North Carolina 74 +3
- T11 Casey Grice North Carolina 74 +3
- T16 Amanda Baker North Carolina State 75 +4
- T16 Ana Menendez North Carolina State 75 +4
- T16 Briana Mao Virginia 75 +4
- T19 Shannon Pak Miami 76 +5
- T19 Jennifer Hirano Miami 76 +5
- T19 Augusta James North Carolina State 76 +5
- T19 Hannah Thomson Florida State 76 +5
- T19 Cheyenne Woods Wake Forest 76 +5
- T19 Maria Salinas Florida State 76 +5
- T19 Jessica Negron Florida State 76 +5
- T19 Lauren Greenlief Virginia 76 +5
- T19 Jackie Chang North Carolina 76 +5
- T19 Elizabeth Brightwell Virginia 76 +5
- T19 Brittany Altomare Virginia 76 +5
- T30 Eunice Yim Boston College 77 +6
- T30 Vivian Tsui North Carolina State 77 +6
- T30 Christine Shimel Maryland 77 +6
- T30 Courtney Ellenbogen Duke 77 +6
- T30 Portland Rosen Virginia 77 +6
- T35 Kaela Klune Boston College 78 +7
- T35 Rika Park Miami 78 +7
- T35 Leticia Ras-Anderica Miami 78 +7
- T38 Allison Emrey Wake Forest 79 +8
- T38 Greta Lange Wake Forest 79 +8
- 40 Laure Castelain Florida State 80 +9
- 41 Alex Milan Florida State 81 +10
- 42 Jessie Hollandsworth Maryland 82 +11
- 43 Carry Barbee Boston College 83 +12
- 44 Carina Cuculiza Miami 84 +13
- 45 Lauren Varnas Maryland 88 +17