The third-ranked Duke women’s golf team will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete in the 2014 NCAA East Regional May 8-10 at the 6,257-yard, par 72 SouthWood Golf Club, which will be hosted by Florida State.
Participating in the regional will be-- Duke (3), South Carolina (9), Stanford (4), Vanderbilt (13), Pepperdine (10), Central Florida (16), Virginia (23), Auburn (21), NC State (30), Florida State (29), Kentucky (24), Tulane (31), Louisville (36), Baylor (39), East Tennessee State, Georgia, Campbell, East Carolina, Texas State, College of Charleston, Troy, Murray State, Seton Hall and Alabama State. The following individuals will also be competing – Lori Beth Adams (UNC-Wilmington), Ellen Ceresko (Penn State), Lacey Fears (Mercer), Kaew Preamchuen (Kennesaw State), Abby Newton (Mississippi) and Christina Vosters (Penn State). The teams are listed in seed order and the rankings in parentheses are from the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Duke will tee off Thursday, May 8 at 8:51 a.m. in the first round off No. 1 and will return Friday, May 9 at 1:11 p.m., in the second round. Tee times for Saturday will be determined by standings. Fans can follow the action live on the web at www.GolfStat.com.
The regional will be a three-day, 54-hole tournament with 18 holes played each day. The top eight teams and top two individuals (not on one of those eight teams) advance to the NCAA Championship to be played May 20-23 at the Tulsa Golf & Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
• As a team, Duke has won four tournaments this season and has finished no lower than second in its last seven tournaments played.
• Freshman Yu Liu owns a 71.83 stroke average on the season, which ranks as the third-lowest in school history for a rookie at Duke (Amanda Blumenherst - 71.62 in 2005-06, Brittany Lang - 71.67 in 2003-04).
• Duke features two golfers who have won tournaments this season -- Celine Boutier (3) and Yu Liu (1). It marks the first time since the 2007-08 campaign (Alison Whitaker, Amanda Blumenherst) the Blue Devils have multiple winners in a season.
• The Blue Devils have four out of the top 14 stroke averages in the ACC this season, including three out of the top four -- Celine Boutier (1st, 71.78), Yu Liu (2nd, 71.83), Laetitia Beck (4th, 72.15) and Sandy Choi (14th, 74.57).
• Duke’s eight NCAA Regional titles is the most by a school -- 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2013.
• The Blue Devils are listed third in the Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll and are third in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. In the Golfweek individual rankings, Yu Liu (3rd), Celine Boutier (6th), Laetitia Beck (10) and Sandy Choi (91) are listed in the top 100. Duke is the only school in the nation with three golfers in the top 10 of the rankings.
• Head coach Dan Brooks has collected at least one team victory in 29 of his 30 years at Duke, including four in 2013-14.
• Freshman Yu Liu leads the nation with 4.64 stroke average on par fives this season. She also leads the nation with a 79.1 greens-in-regulation percentage.
Both Laetitia Beck and Alejandra Cangrejo will see action in their fourth straight regional. As a sophomore, Cangrejo was injured in the first round and had to withdraw at Penn State. Beck’s best finish came last year in the Central Regional as she tied for 26th with rounds of 74, 78 and 68 for a total of 220. Cangrejo tied second a year ago in Oklahoma with rounds of 72, 69 and 70 (211).
Duke claimed the NCAA Central Region title a year ago in Norman, Okla., as the Blue Devils shot a 276 on the final day to finish with a 13-under-par overall score during the 54 holes. The last East Region title Duke won was in 2007 in Baton Rouge, La.
BROOKS COACHING TREE IN TALLAHASSEE
Head coach Dan Brooks will have one former Duke assistant coach on the course in Tallahassee, Fla.,for the East Regional -- Kalen Anderson Harris (South Carolina head coach). Anderson was an assistant coach with the Blue Devils in 2006-07. She was also a three-time All-ACC selection and four-year letterwinner at Duke from 1998-2001.
Duke features a very international flare to its 2013-14 roster with two golfers from China (Yu Liu, Yi Xiao), Israel (Laetitia Beck), Colombia (Alejandra Cangrejo), France (Celine Boutier), Canada (Irene Jung) and California (Sandy Choi - originally from Korea).
Assistant coach Jeanne Cho speaks four languages -- English, Spanish, French and Korean -- and she can speak all four of those languages with members of the team.
For the third straight year and the 19th time in school history, Duke captured the ACC Championship as the Blue Devils turned in a 54-hole total of 862 to win by 27 strokes at the 6,107-yard, Par 71 Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
Duke posted rounds of 291, 285 and 286 for a 10-over-par ledger. Virginia (889), NC State (890), North Carolina (896), Notre Dame (905), Miami (905), Florida State (908), Wake Forest (919), Maryland (921) and Clemson (921) rounded out the top 10.
Brooks posted his 18th ACC Championship over his 30 seasons as Duke, including the Blue Devils’ fourth victory of the 2013-14 campaign. Dan Brooks now owns 118 career wins to increase his NCAA-best victory total.
As a team, Duke featured four out of the top five on the final leaderboard – Celine Boutier (1st, 210), Laetitia Beck (2nd, 215), Sandy Choi (4th, 219) and Yu Liu (T5th, 220).
BLUE DEVILS IN THE NCAA’S
This marks the 22nd consecutive year there has been a regional system for women’s golf. Duke has advanced 18 of the last 20 times, finishing in the top four of the regional in 16 of the 18 years the squad has advanced.
Duke has posted four individual medalists at the regionals as Beth Bauer won the East Regional in 1999 after shooting 74-70-71=215, Virada Nirapathpongporn won in 2001 with a 65-73-71=209, Leigh Anne Hardin won in 2002 with rounds of 71-67-72=210 and Anna Grzebien won in 2005 with rounds of 73-69-67=209.
ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COACH
Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks became the all-time winningest women’s golf coach in NCAA Division I history in the fall of 2005 as he won his 92nd career tournament title at the Stanford Pepsi Intercollegiate on Oct. 23, 2005. Brooks passed Mark Gale of San Jose State that won 91 career tournaments from 1978-96.
Brooks now has 118 career tournament wins over his 30 seasons. He has guided Duke to at least one victory in 29 of his 30 years.
For the seventh time in school history, the Duke women’s golf team swept the All-ACC awards as the league office released the postseason accolades Tuesday following a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.
Blue Devil sophomore Celine Boutier was named the ACC Player of the Year, rookie Yu Liu earned ACC Freshman of the Year and Dan Brooks was selected ACC Coach of the Year. Duke senior Laetitia Beck also earned All-ACC accolades for the fourth straight season. Other years the Blue Devils swept the main ACC awards were in 2004, 2007, 2006, 2001, 2000 and 1999.
With Duke receiving three members on the All-ACC team – Beck, Boutier and Liu -- it marks the 15th straight year the Blue Devils have registered two or more golfers on the All-ACC team.
A product of Montrouge, France, Boutier becomes the ninth different Duke golfer to be named ACC Player of the Year and it marks the 16th time over the last 18 years a Blue Devil has been named the league player of the year.
Boutier enters the NCAA regionals as arguably the nation’s hottest golfer. The Montrouge, France, native is riding a three-match win streak that includes titles at the ACC Championship, the PING/ASU Invitational and the Bryan National Collegiate. Boutier, whose 71.78 stroke average is an ACC best, owns five total top-five finishes, six top-10 placements and eight top-20 finishes in her nine tournaments played this season. She is currently ranked No. 6 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Liu, of Beijing, China, is the only ACC golfer to collect top-10 finishes in each of her tournaments played this season. It marks the 15th time in league history a Duke golfer has been selected the ACC Rookie of the Year and the fourth time out of the last five years. Her strong first season includes a title at the Darius Rucker Invitational, in which she carded a 54-hole ledger of 211. Liu owns the second-best stroke average in the ACC and the best among freshmen with a 71.83 mark. She is currently the highest ranked ACC golfer in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and in the GolfStat Cup rankings, holding the No. 4 spot in each.
Brooks coached Duke to its 19th ACC title and to four team victories on the season. The Blue Devils are ranked third nationally and received their 22nd consecutive bid to participate in the NCAA Championship. Duke is seeded No. 1 in the East Region. The Blue Devils registered a 27-stroke victory at the ACC Championship. Their four tournament wins are their most since the 2007-08 campaign, when Duke won five events. Brooks has guided the Blue Devils to an NCAA-best 118 career wins and 18 of the program’s 19 ACC titles in his 30 years at the helm. It marks the third straight year Brooks has received ACC Coach of the Year by his peers.
A native of Caesarea, Israel, Beck is currently ranked No. 10 nationally in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index after totaling a 72.15 stroke average to go along with six top 10 and five top five finishes so far this season. Beck is coming off finishing second at the ACC Championship with rounds of 72, 75 and a tournament-best 68 in the final round for a two-over-par, 215. Her 72.15 stroke average ranks as the fourth-best in the league and is the third-highest ACC golfer listed in the latest GolfStat Cup rankings (11). Entering regional play, Beck has not finished lower than third over her last three tournaments and owns 13 rounds of even or under par on the year.
With Beck earning four All-ACC selections over her career, she joined the likes of Lindy Duncan, Amanda Blumenherst, Jenny Chuasiriporn, Anna Grzebien, Candy Hannemann, Leigh Anne Hardin, Jennie Lee, Virada Nirapathpongporn, Jennifer Pandolfi and Liz Janangelo as the only four-time All-ACC selections in Blue Devil history. Only six other ACC golfers have been four-time All-ACC selections -- Brittany Altomare (UVA), Catherine O’Donnell (UNC), Calle Nielson (UVA), Leah Wigger (UVA), Caroline Westrup (FSU) and Stephanie Neill (WF).
THE HEAD COACH
Dan Brooks is in his 30th season as the head coach of the Blue Devils. The 1981 graduate of Oregon State has led Duke to 22 straight NCAA Regional selections and to the NCAA Championships 18 of the last 20 years. Brooks owns the school’s five National Championships in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Brooks’ teams have finished with a top-20 ranking 27 times (looking for the 28th this season), while 17 of his squads have earned a top-10 finish in a NCAA Tournament-- 1987 (T7th), 1988 (5th), 1994 (4th), 1996 (7th), 1998 (4th), 1999 (1st), 2001 (2nd), 2002 (1st), 2003 (10th), 2004 (3rd), 2005 (1st), 2006 (1st), 2007 (1st), 2008 (3rd), 2009 (6th), 2010 (T8th) and 2013 (2nd).
In 30 years, his teams have won 118 tournaments, which is a NCAA record for women’s golf. He was named the 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2013 ACC Coach of the Year for his efforts and 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2007 National Coach of the Year. Duke has collected 18 ACC Championships during Brooks’ term with the program.
FIVE-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
The Duke women’s golf team will begin its quest for its sixth NCAA Championship this week in Tallahassee, Fla. The Blue Devils won their first title in 1999, a second in 2002, third in 2005, fourth in 2006 and fifth in 2007. Duke became only the second team along with Arizona State to win three straight national titles (1995-97).
Virada Nirapathpongporn (2002), Candy Hannemann (2003) and Anna Grzebien (2005) each have won individual titles.