BRYAN, TEXAS -- Freshmen Mads Soegaard and Motin Yeung along with senior Brinson Paolini fired under-par rounds Sunday to lead Duke to a three-under 285 in the final round of the Aggie Invitational at the Traditions Golf Club. The Blue Devils climbed two spots in the standings to finish seventh overall with a +13, 877, while Yeung, Soegaard and Paolini each finished in the top 20 individually.
"I am certainly pleased with today," said head coach Jamie Green. "I know our guys were looking forward to having the opportunity to bouncing back after we didn't ham and egg it very well yesterday. It was fun to get out there today and watch the guys finish strong."
Second-ranked Alabama secured the tournament title with a three-under 285 to close the Aggie Invitational with an 18-under 846. No. 21 Kent State recorded an even-par 864 to place second while No. 4 Washington (+4, 868) and No. 14 Arkansas (+5, 869) finished third and fourth, respectively. No. 5 UCLA and No. 23 Texas A&M tied for fifth with six-over 870s followed by No. 10 Duke (+13, 877), No. 15 LSU (+14, 878), Oklahoma (+15, 879) and No. 13 Oklahoma State.
The Alabama trio of Cory Whitsett (208), Bobby Wyatt (209) and Scot Strohmeyer (210) finished first, second and third, respectively at the Aggie Invitational. Corey Conners (Kent State) and Chris Williams (Washington) tied for fourth at five-under (211).
Yeung posted a one-under 71 in the final round to finish 10th with a one-under 215. With Duke opening up play on the back nine, the Beijing, China, native collected seven pars and birdies on No. 14 and No. 18 to make the turn at two-under. He added a birdie on the par 4 first hole and had a birdie on No. 5 to offset a bogey on No. 3 to sit a three-under with four holes remaining. Yeung suffered back-to-back bogeys on No. 7 and No. 8 before closing with a par to secure his fifth under-par round of the season.
"Motin played solid and competed well this week," Green added. "He had an opportunity to have a really good week but didn't quite finish the first and third rounds as well as he started the rounds. He played very steady golf in his return to the lineup and collected a top 10 finish against a very strong field."
Soegaard was outstanding Sunday en route to a two-under 70. He opened with a pair of pars before carding birdies on No. 12 and No. 14 to move to two-under. Soegaard capped the opening nine with four more pars to remain in red figures. He ran into his only trouble of the day with a triple-bogey on the par 4 first hole, but quickly recovered with birdies on No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 to get back to two-under. Soegaard closed the day with four more pars to collect his ninth under-par round of the season and finish tied for 14th with a two-over 218.
"Mads played well to start the day and bounced back really well after a triple-bogey on his 10th hole," said Green. "He hit a lot of great golf shots and canned some putts. His composure and decision making were great throughout the day. I am really proud of the round he put together."
Paolini used a strong finish to the day to climb into the top 20 with a three-over 219. The Virginia Beach, Va., native has now finished in the top 20 in all eight events this season. He started Sunday with three straight pars before suffering a double-bogey on the par 4 13th hole and made the turn at one-over after regaining a stroke with a birdie on No. 15. Paolini fell back to +2 with a bogey on No. 2 and followed up with three straight pars. He clawed his way back into the top 20 with birdies on No. 6, No. 8 and No. 9 to cap the day with a one-under 71.
Junior Austin Cody finished tied for 49th with a 10-over 226 after carding a 73 (+1) in the final round. After playing the opening nine holes at three-over, Cody settled in with seven pars and birdies on No. 5 and No. 6 after the turn.
Julian Suri, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla., shot a three-over 75 Sunday to finish tied for 60th with a 15-over 231. His tournament was plagued by five double-bogey or worse holes over the 54-hole event.
Junior Yaroslav Merkulov, playing in the event as an individual, finished with a 236 to place 70th overall.
Duke returns to action April 26-28 at the ACC Championship at Old North State Club in New London, N.C.
"We are looking forward to having some time to prepare for the ACC Championships," said Green. "We have some things to learn from this tournament that will help us better prepare for our conference championship."
*** Duke's three-under 285 was tied for the second-best round Sunday ... the Blue Devils have nine under-par team rounds on the year.
*** Duke had three players finish in the top 20, marking the seventh time this season the Blue Devils have accomplished that feat.
*** Yeung now has three top 10 finishes in five events this season.
*** Yeung was one of 10 players in the 72-man field to collect two or more under-par rounds.
*** Soegaard has finished in the top 20 in each of the last two events and four times overall.
*** Paolini moves into a tie for fifth at Duke with 25 top 20 finishes in his career. He has finished in the top 20 in all eight events in 2012-13.
*** Paolini leads the Blue Devils with 10 under-par rounds ... he is fourth in the Duke record books with 42 career under-par rounds ... he is also second with 62 rounds of even-par or better golf