FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Thanks to his top 15 finish at the 2019 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, Duke junior Chandler Eaton has earned All-American recognition for the second consecutive season.
Eaton wrapped up his championship appearance on Monday at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., carding a three-over par 75 in the final round for a 72-hole total of four-over par 292 (76-71-70-75), which was good to place him tied for 15th on the individual leaderboard.
The junior was also tied for 15th at last season’s NCAA Championship, repeating as an Honorable Mention All-American. He is one of just five players nationally to finish top 15 in each of the last two NCAA Championships, joining Oklahoma State’s Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland and Stanford’s Isaiah Salinda.
“It means a lot to be an All-American,” said Eaton. “College golf is stacked with so many great players. It’s almost like a mini-PGA Tour. It means a lot. It means I’m improving and getting to where I want to be. This week was special and this course was a grind. I’m thrilled with how I ended up. I battled, drove it well and just hung in there.”
After being one of just five golfers in the entire 160-player field to post under-par rounds on both Saturday and Sunday, Eaton advanced as an individual to Monday’s final round after the Blue Devils were eliminated from the team competition on Sunday evening.
The Alpharetta, Ga., native opened his round Monday with a par on the first, playing the brutally-tough, 470-yard par-4 opening hole in two-under par for the championship. Bouncing back from a bogey on a par-5 second, Eaton rolled in a birdie on the par-4 fourth and turned in even par 36.
A double bogey on the par-5 10th threatened to derail his round, but the junior parred seven of his remaining eight holes and signed for Monday’s 75. He led the entire field with 52 pars for the championship, including 14 on Monday.
“Two years in a row in the top 15 is not accomplished by many,” said head coach Jamie Green. “This golf course and last year’s (at Karsten Creek) are as championship-level courses as you can find. It’s a tribute not only to his physical talent, but his mindset. He’s very, very good at focusing on just the shot at hand and the moment at hand, and that’s really what’s required at a place like this.”
Only eight times in Duke’s golf history has a player posted a top 15 finish at the NCAA Championship, and Eaton is the first Blue Devils to have done it twice.
Oklahoma State’s Wolff ran away with this season’s individual championship, shooting a 10-under par 278 and finishing five strokes clear of second place. His Cowboys will have the No. 1-seed in match play, which begins Tuesday.