GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the third straight year and the 19th time in school history, the Duke women’s golf program took home the ACC Championship Saturday as the Blue Devils battled through unseasonably cool temperatures and intermittent rain showers at the 6,107-yard, par 71 Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. Sophomore Celine Boutier claimed the ACC Individual title with a three-day ledger of 210, which marked her third straight individual title this spring.
Duke carded rounds of 291, 285 and 286 for a 54-hole total of 862, which was 10-over-par batting tough conditions. Virginia (889), NC State (890), North Carolina (896), Notre Dame (905), Miami (905), Florida State (908), Wake Forest (919), Maryland (921), Clemson (921) and Boston College (959) rounding out the field.
Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks registered his 118th career victory and has led Duke to 18 of 19 ACC Championships over his 30 years. Boutier becomes the 12th different Blue Devil to claim the ACC individual title and it marks the 16th time a Duke golfer has won medalist accolades at the championship.
“I am very pleased with the way we played today,” said Brooks. “This is a tough course made tougher by the weather conditions. I’m happy with where this team is now. This is a great place to host an ACC Championship. You can’t run a tournament better than they do here. The excitement and support that we receive means a lot to the players.”
Duke featured four out of the top five golfers on the final individual leaderboard – Boutier (1), Laetitia Beck (2), Sandy Choi (4) and Yu Liu (T5).
Entering the ACC Championship as the hottest golfer in the nation, Boutier didn’t disappoint firing rounds of 71, 69 and 70 for a 54-hole total of 210. A product of Montrouge, France, Boutier becomes the first Duke golfer since Amanda Blumenherst (2006-07) to win three straight individual titles.
“I thought the course played long today with the conditions being both windy and wet,” said Boutier. “My ball striking and wedges were very good. It was very helpful on the par five’s and four’s, as I was able to save a lot of pars. I’m very pleased with the way I played.”
Boutier totaled an even-par, 35, on the front nine Saturday, which included back-to-back birdies on No. 4 and No. 5. After a bogey on the par three 12th, Boutier closed the round with a two-under-par ledger over her final six holes. She rolled in birdies on both par fives, No. 15 and No. 18 on her way to finishing with a tournament-best 13 birdies over the three days. Boutier hit 12 greens, nine fairways and had 29 putts on the day.
Carding a career-best eight birdies in the final round, Beck moved into second place with a two-over-par, 215, with rounds of 72, 75 and 68. It marked the second straight year Beck finished second at the ACC Championship. A Caesarea, Israel product, Beck totaled five birdies on the front nine on No. 2 and No. 3 followed by three consecutive birdies on No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9 on her way to making the turn at four-under, 31.
Beck closed the back with two pars, three birdies and four bogeys as she finished the day with a 68, which was a tournament best score over the 54 holes. She hit seven fairways, 12 greens and had a season-best 27 putts.
Collecting a career-best fourth place finish with rounds of 75, 71 and 73 was Choi. A product of San Diego, Calif., Choi’s day was highlighted with her first collegiate eagle on the 385-yard, par four second hole. She was 151 yards out and hit the ball onto the top left of the green, before it rolled into the cup for eagle. Choi played the next 15 holes at five-over-par, but closed her day with a short birdie on No. 18 to finish with a 73. She hit 13 fairways, nine greens and had a career-best 26 putts.
Liu, who is a freshman from Beijing, China, continued her solid start to her career with her eighth consecutive top 10 finish as she placed tied fifth with rounds of 73, 72 and 75 for a 54-hole ledger of 220. She was held without a birdie for the entire day until she connected on a short putt on the 486-yard, par five 18th to round out the championship.
Senior Alejandra Cangrejo posted her fourth straight top 20 finish in the ACC Championship with rounds of 79, 73 and 75 for a total of 227. A native of Bogota, Colombia, Cangrejo netted two birdies on No. 7 and No. 16, while hitting 14 greens, eight fairways and rolling 36 putts.
Duke will next await the NCAA Regional selection show Monday, April 28 at 6:00 p.m., which will be aired live on the Golf Channel.
Other Duke Notes: • Celine Boutier led the field in par five scoring for the week, as she finished the nine par fives at six-under par. • The last time a Duke golfer won three straight individual titles was Amanda Blumenherst - 2006-07 (Arizona Wildcat Invitational, UCF Challenge, LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic) • Laetitia Beck had 11 birdies over the week, which ranked second overall. • Overall, Duke has won the ACC Championship in 1984, ‘85, ‘93, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘01, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ’07, ’08, ’12, ’13, ‘14. • Twelve different Blue Devils have claimed individual honors at the ACC Championship— Mary Anne Widman (1984), Evelyn Orley (1985), Kathi Poppmeier (1994), Jenny Chuasiriporn (1996 & 1997), Beth Bauer (1999), Maria Garcia-Estrada (2000), Virada Nirapathpongporn (2001), Candy Hannemann (2002), Brittany Lang (2004 & 2005), Blumenherst (2006, 2007 & 2008), Lindy Duncan (2012), Celine Boutier (2014) • Brooks is in his 30th season with the Blue Devils. He is a 12-time ACC Coach of the Year selection and has led Duke to an NCAA-record 118 victories. Brooks has guided the Blue Devils to NCAA Championships in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. • A Blue Devil individual has claimed medalist honors at each of the last four events Duke has competed in – Yu Liu (1), Celine Boutier (3).