JONESBOROUGH, TENN. -- The Duke men's golf team fired a third round low score of five-under 283 on Sunday to climb six spots and finish fifth at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate with a five-over 869. Freshman Julian Suri paced the way with a bogey-free 69, while senior Adam Long and freshman Brinson Paolini were also in red figures in the final round.
"Today was a good day for us," head coach Jamie Green said. "All five guys hung in there throughout the round and remained positive regardless of the situation. Everyone forged ahead and made sure to stay focused on the shot at hand."
"Both Julian [Suri] and Brinson [Paolini] had great rounds today," Long said. "For them both to be in red numbers shows their talent and their comfort level. The gave us a good boost today."
Tennessee and Oregon State each shot three-under 861s with the Volunteers earning team title honors by virtue of the fifth player's score. The two teams entered the final round tied for the lead and shot matching six-over 294s in the third round. Virginia (-1, 863), Virginia Tech (+2, 866) and Duke (+5, 869) rounded out the top five.
Oregon State's Diego Velasquez grabbed the individual title with a 10-under 206. He finished seven strokes better than a trio of players, Garland Green (Va. Tech), Matt Hill (N.C. State) and Darren Renwick (Tennessee), that finished tied for second.
Suri opened the third round with four straight pars before carding a birdie on the par 5 14th hole. He added another birdie on No. 18 to make the turn at two-under. The St. Augustine, Fla., native rattled off six more pars before posting his third birdie of the day on the par 3 seventh. Suri wrapped up the round with back-to-back pars to finish tied for 20th with two-over 218.
"I felt really comfortable and hit the ball solid today," Suri said. "I was able to execute well by picking my spots and hitting my targets and when I missed I was able to get up and down to play bogey-free golf."
Long shot a two-under 70 on Sunday to tied for 16th with an even-par 216. He recorded three birdies in the opening five holes but also suffered a double-bogey on No. 12 and a bogey on No. 18 to make the turn at even-par. The St. Louis, Mo., native posted seven pars and a pair of birdies (No. 2 & No. 8) over the final nine holes for his second under-par round of the tournament.
Paolini posted his first career under-par round with a 71. He finished the day with four birdies, 11 pars and three bogeys. The Virginia Beach, Va., native closed the tournament tied for 25th with a three-over 219.
Junior Wes Roach fired a one-over 73 to finish tied for 16th with an even-par 216. He registered four birdies, nine pars and five bogeys on the day.
Sophomore Spencer Anderson started strong with eight straight pars before dropping three strokes with bogeys on three of four holes in the middle of the round. He slipped to four-over with a bogey on No. 7 before carding his lone birdie of the day on the par 5 eighth hole. Anderson closed the tournament tied for 55th with an 11-over 227.
"Julian and Brinson, playing in their first team tournament, really stepped up in posting red numbers in the final round," Green added. "And the upperclassman showed a lot of leadership in handling the conditions and a strong challenge at a wonderful event. We learned some things this week for sure."
The Blue Devils return to action at the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate next weekend (Oct. 24-25) at Forest Oaks country Club. Duke claimed the team title at the event last season.
*** Suri's 69 was the lowest round of the day, while Long's 70 was tied for the second lowest round.
*** Duke's five-under 283 was the fourth-lowest round of the tournament. It was five strokes better than the next closest final round score.
*** Duke's 283 on Sunday was the only round of under-par golf on the day.
*** Long finished with a team-best 11 birdies in the tournament, including five in the final round.
*** Roach carded 10 birdies overall, including four in each the first and third rounds.