DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s golf team returns to action this weekend at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup at the Golf Club of Tennessee. The multi-day collegiate golf event will pit the top ACC and SEC teams against each other for a 54-hole team stroke-play event, followed by an 18-hole match-play conference finale, pitting the teams in each conference against each other to play for the ‘Top Conference’ honors.
“It is early in the year and this is a great opportunity for us to see how we measure up against teams from the ACC and SEC,” said head coach Jamie Green. “The Golf Club of Tennessee has been looking forward to doing this for a while. The event has a similar feel to some amateur tournaments these guys play in the summer in that you play some stroke play, you qualify for match play, and then you get on with it as far as matches go, and obviously our national championship format is similar to that, so we are excited about this opportunity.”
Duke, ranked 15th in the Golf World / Nike Golf Coaches’ Preseason Poll, is joined in the field by Boston College, Clemson, No. 11 Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee, No. 19 Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest.
The Blue Devils will field a unit featuring senior Yaroslav Merkulov, juniors Turner Southey-Gordon and Michael Ricaurte along with sophomore Motin Yeung and freshman Max Greyserman. The Blue Devils opened the 2013-14 campaign with a tie for sixth finish at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate.
Greyserman began his Duke career with a tie for fourth finish at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate. The Short Hills, N.J., native fired a two-under 214 (71-71-72) to pace the Blue Devils. Ricaurte and Merkulov placed tied for 28th and tied for 33rd, respectively, in the event, while Southey-Gordon finished tied for 49th.
“Max gets off to good starts. He’s able to channel his excitement and energy into making birdies,” said Green. “His golf IQ is really very high and he’s hitting high percentage shots that put him in position for birdies. He doesn’t get very high, doesn’t get very low, he just stays calm and steady and helps you win by making good decisions.”
Yeung will make his first appearance in the lineup for the Blue Devils after missing the Tar Heel Intercollegiate while playing in the China National Games. He shot 68-72-67-72 to lead Hong Kong to a silver medal at the event. Last season, Yeung recorded a 73.1 stroke average with five under-par rounds.
The DICK’S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup will be covered extensively by Golfweek and will also be featured in a one-hour televised special on ESPNU set to air October 13, 2013 at 12 p.m.
“The golf course is one of the best in the area and one of the best we’re going to see all year long,” added Green. “Everything in your game needs to be sharp. We’ll see how we measure up after stroke play, It is going to be a long week and it’ll be interesting see how guys do in the match play the last day after playing a practice round Thursday, 36 holes Friday, 18 holes Saturday, followed by the 9-hole member outing, and then match play Sunday. It is going to be a long week and a long tournament, so I think stamina is going to be a factor. We just have to stay smart and eat right and stay rested and do our best.”
Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com.