TUCSON, ARIZ. – For the fourth time in only two years, Amanda Blumenherst has claimed individual medalist accolades in a tournament as the sophomore pulled out a four-stroke victory at the Wildcat Invitational on Tuesday, which was being played at the 6,238-yard, Par 71 Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.
“It was so exciting,” said Blumenherst on winning the tournament. “Definitely, our goal was to go out there and win as a team, but to win one individually was good since I hadn’t won in the fall. It is great to get my momentum going and to start out with a win. I didn’t get into trouble this week and with this desert course it really could eat up the golf ball. I putted well and kept the ball in play for most of the days.”
Blumenherst, a product of Scottsdale, Ariz., carded rounds of 70, 69 and 71 as she led all three rounds of competition and finished with a 54-hole season best of 210. The reigning National Player of the Year, Blumenherst carded 12 birdies over the three rounds. As a freshman, Blumenherst won a team-best three tournaments, but had not won in five tournaments during the fall.
“She was hitting long clubs into par-fives and she only does that when she was feeling confident,” said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. “That is a good thing to see this early in the spring season.”
Rounding out the top-three individual finishers were Anna Nordqvist of Arizona State (214) and Dewi Schreefel of Southern California (214).
Heading into the final round with an 11-stroke lead over the Blue Devils, Arizona State closed the day with a 291 to finish the invitational with an 868. Duke came in second place with a 54-hole total of 876 as the Blue Devils turned in a Tuesday-best 288. Southern California (881), Brigham Young (895), New Mexico (897), Pepperdine (897), Tennessee (903), Arizona (907), UCLA (912), Vanderbilt (914) and Stanford (914) rounding out the top 11.
“There were a lot of good things that went well today,” said Brooks. “We had an awful lot of cold weather going into this tournament and were not able to get on the golf course in real scoreable weather enough. That is the way it goes early in the spring.”
Blumenherst led the Blue Devils with an even-par 71 on Tuesday as she totaled four birdies. Both Jennie Lee and Jennifer Pandolfi each posted rounds of one-over-par, 72. Lee, who is from Henderson, Nev., had a solid day with 15 pars, two bogeys and one birdie, while Pandolfi collected three birdies. Lee finished tied for 11th with a 219 and Pandolfi was tied for 23rd, 225.
A product of Narragansett, R.I., Grzebien was tied for 23rd with a three-day total of 225, after turning in a two-over-par, 73, on Tuesday. Whitaker fired a 75 in the third round and was tied for 32nd with a 227. Playing as an individual, freshman Rebecca Kim finished tied for 74th with rounds of 92, 81 and 79.
Duke will next compete in the UCF Challenge from March 5-6 in Orlando, Fla.
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