TOLEDO, OH -- The Duke men's golf team capped off the 2008-09 season with a 14th place finish at the NCAA Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Senior Clark Klaasen fired an even-par 71 in the final round as the Blue Devils shot a 12-over 296 to finish with a 54-hole score of +26 (878).
Oklahoma State won the stroke play championship with a three-under 849. Arizona State finished second at +10, while USC, Arkansas and Washington finished tied for third at 13-over. Michigan (+16), Texas A&M (+17) and Georgia (+17) also advanced to the match play portion of the NCAA Championship.
N.C. State's Matt Hill captured the individual title with a six-under 207, while Clemson's Kyle Stanley was two shots back. Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State), Tom Glissmeyer (USC) and Tom Hoge (TCU) tied for third at three-under. A handful of teams will return to the course on Friday morning to complete the third round of play.
"I am very proud of our guys for being in position to compete for a spot in the match play heading into the back nine today," said head coach Jamie Green. "We talked throughout the spring about being able to get to the National Championship on the final round. Unfortunately, we didn't play our best during the middle portion of the round, but the guys hung in there until the end to make some solid pars and birdies. I am proud of the guys for efforts and how hard they work all year long, every single day on all parts of their game.
Klaasen opened the final round with a birdie before suffering a bogey on No. 2 to move back to even-par. He played the next seven holes at two-under with birdies on No. 5 and No. 8. Klaasen suffered bogeys on No. 10 and No. 14 to finish with his fourth even-par round of the season. He is tied for 31st with a five-over 218 (72-75-71).
"Clark played consistently for us from the first tee shot to the 54-hole finish," added Green. "He anchored us in the final round and gave us an opportunity."
Junior Adam Long got off to a strong start in the final round with eight pars and one birdie (No. 4) on the front nine. He suffered bogeys on No. 13, No. 16 and No. 17 to slip to two-over heading into the final hole. After putting his drive in the left rough on a steep hill on No. 18, Long nearly canned his approach on the fly before tapping in for birdie and a round of one-over 72. He is currently tied for 48th with a seven-over 220 at the NCAA Championship.
"Adam was our most consistent player all year," stated Green. "He was our top scorer and was the guy that we really leaned on all year long. That didn't stop this week."
Wes Roach, a sophomore from Knoxville, Tenn., posted a four-over 75 in the third round and is tied for 121st with a 16-over 229. He closed the day with a team-high four birdies, but also suffered six bogey and a double-bogey in the round. Roach's tournament was highlighted by some outstanding play on the historic par 4 18th hole at Inverness. He holed out for eagle from just outside 50 yards on Tuesday and nearly duplicated the feat on Thursday before settling for a tap-in birdie.
Senior Michael Quagliano had a seven-over 78 on Thursday. The Ardsley, N.Y., native started slow with three bogeys and a double-bogey on the opening five holes to slip to five-over. He recovered to play the remaining 13 holes at two-over to sit tied for 31st with a five-over 218 (73-67-78).
"I am really proud of the way Michael went out there and competed as well as he did," said Green. "He really putted well this week. He hit his putts solidly and was reading putts beautifully."
Matthew Pierce, who was diagnosed with strep throat following Thursday's action, posted an eight-over 79 and is tied for 115th with a 15-over 228. He had two birdies, eight pars, six bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys in the final round of play.
*** Duke has now finished in the top 15 at the NCAA Championship 13 times overall.
*** Duke's one-over 285 in the second round is tied for the fifth lowest round (in relation to par) for the Blue Devils in NCAA Championship history.
*** Klaasen closes his career ranked in the top 10 at Duke in rounds played (137), under-par rounds (34) and stroke average (73.83).
*** Long posted a counting team round in all 36 rounds this season. He finished the year with 35.5 counting rounds, splitting a counting round with Klaasen in the second round of the NCAA Tournament ... Long has now played in 104 consecutive rounds for the Blue Devils.
*** Pierce finished the year with eight under-par rounds out of 19 rounds played.
*** Roach played the final 45 holes of the tournament at seven-over par, after going nine-over on his opening nine holes.
*** Quagliano finishes his career with 15 NCAA Tournament rounds played ... his four-under 67 in the second round is tied for the third-lowest round (in relation to par) in Duke's NCAA Championship history.
*** Duke, ranked 38th in the Golfstat ratings, finished above 12 teams ranked higher than the Blue Devils entering the tournament.