DURHAM, N.C.-- The fifth-ranked Duke women's golf team received its 19th consecutive bid to participate in NCAA Regional action on Monday as the Blue Devils were seeded No. 2 in the Central Region and will next travel to Notre Dame, Ind., from May 5-7 to play for an invitation to the NCAA Championship. The regional will be played at the 6,208-Yard, Par 72 Warren Golf Club.
Other teams competing in the Central Region are UCLA, Duke, LSU, Arkansas, Wake Forest, Texas, Tulane, Stanford, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Kent State, Chattanooga, Northwestern, Minnesota, UNLV, Oklahoma State, North Texas, Wisconsin, East Carolina, Michigan, Illinois, Morehead State, Illinois State and Butler. The following individuals will also be competing -- Harin Lee (St. John's), Lindsay Gahm (Indiana), Bonnie Hu (Harvard), Nina Muehl (East Tennessee State), Brittany Kelly (Ball State), Britney Hamilton (Western Michigan).
"We have seen those teams [playing in the Central Region] and know they are good," said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. "We will be taking this regional championship very seriously. I am glad we are going to be on a challenging golf course. That allows the better teams to demonstrate their abilities. I hope they set it up tough and we will be ready for it."
The regional will be a three-day, 54-hole tournament with 18 holes played each day. Duke will open action on Thursday, May 5 at 9:08 a.m., on hole No. 1 along with UCLA and LSU. The Blue Devils will play outside of the East Region for only the second time in school history with the only other time coming in 2006 when Duke was sent to the Central Region and played at the Traditions Club in College Station, Texas.
The top eight teams and top two individuals (not on one of those eight teams) advance on to the NCAA Championships to be played May 17-20 at the Texas A&M Traditions Club in College Station, Texas. The Blue Devils have won a total of five NCAA Championships over the last 12 years ---1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Earlier this season, Duke played at the NCAA Fall Preview the Traditions Club and finished fourth. Sophomore Lindy Duncan turned in a tied for fourth finish with rounds of 74, 66 and 71 for a total of 211.
Duke is currently ranked fifth nationally in the latest Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll, while being No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. In the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index individual rankings five Blue Devils are ranked, Duncan (9th), Laetitia Beck (33rd), Kim Donovan (92nd) and Alejandra Cangrejo (95th). Duke will feature a lineup of Duncan, Beck, Donovan, Cangrejo and sophomore Stacey Kim.
The Blue Devils are coming off finishing second at the ACC Championship on April 17 with rounds of 297, 302 and 300 for a total of 899. All five Duke golfers finished it the top 19 of the event with Duncan placing a team-best fourth.
"We have tried to make sure we have managed their time well," commented Brooks on what the team has been working on since the ACC Championship. "We have had some short game competitive practices together and mostly I have a team that has a pretty good feel for their individual games. They have addressed their individual needs and that is exactly where you want to be at this time of year. You want to know your issues and tending to your issues and no two golfers are the same."
Brooks is in his 27th season with the Blue Devils and has led Duke to a NCAA-record 110 career wins. He has taken his squads to the NCAA Regionals every year since 1993. Duke has claimed East Region titles on seven occasions -- 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007. Brooks has led Duke to 10 straight top 10 finishes in the NCAA Championship.
5. Wake Forest
6. Texas (Big 12 Conference)
9. Notre Dame (Big East Conference)
10. Ohio State
11. Kent State (Mid-American Conference)
12. Chattanooga (Southern Conference)
16. Oklahoma State
17. North Texas
19. East Carolina
22. Morehead State (Ohio Valley Conference)
23. Illinois State (Missouri Valley Conference)
24. Butler (Horizon League)
1. Harin Lee, St. John's (New York)
2. Lindsay Gahm, Indiana
3. Bonnie Hu, Harvard
4. Nina Muehl, East Tennessee State
5. Brittany Kelly, Ball State
6. Britney Hamilton, Western Michigan