CHULA VISTA, CALIF. – On the second and final day of the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic, Duke managed to finish seventh out of 15 teams with an overall stroke total of 865 (+1) after shooting a collective 287 (-1) Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Alexander Matlari finished the event tied at the top of Duke’s lineup, rounding out an impressive 212 (-4) effort with a concluding round and team-best 69 (-3), which left him tied for seventh. He would go on to snare six birdies during the course of his final round. "I was driving it really well, and I put myself into great positions on the shorter holes where the difficulty of the greens was high," he said. "I really took advantage of the scorable holes."
Head coach Jamie Green praised Matlari's driving game afterwards.
"He had length off the tee, and there are some par 5s that are quite gettable," he said. "And he's a skilled enough wedge player that he doesn't feel the need to go all in for the par 5s all the time."
Also possessing a share of the team’s lead at the conclusion of the tournament was freshman Chandler Eaton. He matched Matlari’s tournament performance with a 212 (-4) stroke total after shooting a 71 (-1) which included an eagle on 14. He too would finish tied for seventh. "I don’t put pressure on myself to play well or make birdies, I just go out and play," he said. "The key to going out and scoring well is not trying to go out and score well, you just have to let it happen."
The Blue Devils have had five total days of tournament competition thus far in the early going of the spring season, and the Alpharetta, Ga. native has been Duke’s leading performer at the end of four out of the five days.
Consistency was, once again, the key to Eaton's success, as noted by Green.
"If you have that kind of consistency, it's usually because you're not relying on one part of your game. He stays patient, and more importantly, he stays conscious of the fact that you need to stay patient."
Furthermore, Green commented on the mentorship between his senior and freshman.
"Alex and Chandler seem to feed off each other," he said. "They're really supportive of each other, and their demeanors complement each other well. I think it's worth noting."
Junior Adam Wood finished the tournament with a 219 (+3) total as a result of finishing the day with a 72 (E) performance. Although a double bogey on the fourth hole pushed him even further over par, Wood was able to garner four birdies to keep him at three over, leaving him tied for 34th.
Junior Jake Shuman replicated his round two outcome on the final day, shooting a 75 (+3) to land him with a 222 (+6) total, leaving him tied for 50th. Despite recording an eagle on 17, the Needham, Mass. native could not rebound from a day that lent him six bogeys.
Rounding out Duke’s lineup for the day was junior Ben Silverman, who finished with a round of 81 (+9) and stroke total of 236 (+20).
Serving as individuals for Duke in the tournament, Matt Oshrine and Alex Smalley finished the event around the top third of the field. Oshrine shot an impressive 71 (-1) on the afternoon, including a pair of birdies and one eagle. The senior would finish with an even 216, tied for 21st. Smalley’s round of 75 (+3)—which was also highlighted by a pair of birdies—brought him to a stroke total of 219 (+3). He would finish tied for 34th.
Duke will return to action this weekend with the Desert Shootout/GCU Invitational held at the Grand Canyon University Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz. The event will begin Friday, March 17 and conclude the next day.