DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore Motin Yeung tallied his first top-10 finish of the season after recording a final round 70 Sunday to lead the Duke men’s golf team to a third place finish at the Rod Myers Invitational, hosted at the Duke University Golf Club. The Blue Devils posted a final round 287 (-1) to conclude the event with a one-over 865, 11 shots behind team champion Northwestern.
Northwestern claimed the title at the event after carding an impressive ten-under par 854 (283-280-291) while Baylor (857, -7), Duke (865, +1), Liberty (869, +5) and North Carolina (870, +6) rounded out the top five.
"I am really proud of the guys for turning things around," said head coach Jamie Green. "Obviously, we didn't get off to the start we were hoping for. Our guys kept their heads about them, made very good decisions as the day wore on and had good attitudes throughout the day yesterday. That carried over today as they continued to make strong decisions and gave themselves opportunities for birdies."
Northwestern’s Matt Fitzpatrick and teammate Jack Perry shared the individual crown are firing a nine-under par, 207, while Kyle Jones (Baylor) finished one shot back. Boo Timko (Ohio State) was third with a six-under 210 with Davis Bateman (North Carolina) fifth overall at five-under. Yeung along with Chase Marinell (Liberty) were tied for sixth with four-under 212s.
"Hats go off to Northwestern for really playing a terrific tournament," added Green. "They were carried by two very good players and is was great to have a U.S. Amateur champion (Fitzpatrick) in the field for the event."
Yeung, a native of Beijing, China, followed his impressive two-under par performance Saturday by opening the final round with three consecutive pars and a birdie at the par-3 fourth hole. After dropping a shot at No. 6, Yeung responded with a birdie on the 454-yard, par-4 tenth hole to bring his round back into red numbers and capitalized on the par-5 11th to move two-under par. He added another birdie on the par 5 14th hole before dropping a stroke on No. 16. Yeung closed with two pars for a two-under par 70 and his third under-par round this season.
"Motin told me early in the tournament that he was excited about his decision making and approach on the course," Green said. "He said he probably didn't hit it as well as some other tournaments but because of his continuous good decision making he didn't get himself in much trouble."
After a second round, three-under par 69, senior Yaroslav Merkulov continued his solid play by making six pars and two birdies on his opening eight holes. After dropping a shot at No. 9, Merkulov made back-to-back birdies to start the back nine and added another birdie at No. 13 to move to four-under on the day. He dropped two shots coming in to post a two-under par, 70. Merkulov closed the RMI with a one-over 217 to finish tied for 11th and claim his first top-20 finish of the season.
Junior Michael Ricaurte, playing as an individual, finished tied for 16th with a three-over 219. The Columbus, Ohio native carded an even-par 72 Sunday to cap off the tournament. After opening with a bogey on No. 10, Ricaurte parred five straight holes before carding an eagle on the 402-yard par 4 16th hole. He slid to two-under on the round with a birdie on No. 5 but slipped back to even-par following back-to-back bogeys on No. 6 and No. 7.
Alexander Matlari, a native of Leimen, Germany, finished tied for 16th after posting a three-over par, 219. In the final round, Matlari bogeyed the par-4 second hole but made back-to-back birdies on No. 3 and No. 4 to bring his round back into the red numbers. After dropping two shots on the par-4 fifth, Matlari regained composure, stringing together nine pars and two birdies on his next 11 holes to close with a, even-par, 72.
After a second round 70, freshman Max Greyserman struggled out of the gates in the front nine of his final round, dropping shots at No. 2, No. 4, and No. 5, before rallying with birdies on the par-5 seventh and ninth holes to card a 37. On the back side, the Short Hills, N.J., native, made a birdie on No. 11, but dropped two shots at the 14th to finish with a three-over par, 75. He finished tied for 28th with a five-over 221.
Turner Southey-Gordon, a native of Toronto, Canada, struggled on the opening nine, carding a four-over par 40 before regaining momentum on the backside. Southey-Gordon posted a final round 77 for a three-round total of 225, leaving him tied for 46th place.
In addition, senior Austin Cody and freshman Andrew Bieber competed in the event as individuals. Cody, a native of North Charleston, S.C., finished in 65th place after posting a 240, while Bieber recorded a final round 79 to finish in a tie for 55th place.
Complete results available for the 2013 Rod Myers Invitational at www.goduke.com/rmi.
"We are proud to host the Rod Myers Invitational again," Green stated. "We received terrific responses and positive feedback from those in attendence. We cannot thank our volunteers and sponsors enough. They do so much to help this tournament be what it is -- a really great tribute to Rod Myers."