DURHAM, N.C – The Duke men’s golf team begins is 25th appearance in an NCAA Regional on Monday morning as the No. 2-seed in the Athens Regional at the University of Georgia Golf Club in Athens, Ga.
The Blue Devils are in an NCAA Regional for the fifth consecutive season, and looking for the program’s 20th berth to the NCAA Championship. The low five teams from each of the six regional sites will advance to the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark., for the national championship May 24-29.
“The Regionals are a unique event,” said head coach Jamie Green. “It’s a pressure cooker, and most coaches will tell you they are most stressed out during the third round of the regional than they are most of the year. For our guys, as long as they’re focused on doing what they do well – just really immersed in their own game – the rest will take care of itself.”
The 54-hole regional tournament will be contested May 13-15 at the par-71, 7,253-yard UGA course. Other teams competing in the Athens Regional are top-seeded Vanderbilt, Georgia, Liberty, Alabama, Tennessee, Campbell, Kentucky, Nevada, SMU, Memphis, UNC Wilmington and Princeton.
“The University of Georgia Golf Course is a good one, with some similarities to the Duke Golf Club,” said Green. “Our guys should feel pretty comfortable out there, with it looking like something they are used to practicing on.”
Duke is paired with Vanderbilt and Georgia for Monday’s first round with the first tee time set for 7:30 a.m. ET. Live scoring is available via golfstat.com.
A trio of All-ACC honorees lead the Blue Devils into Athens with senior Alex Smalley topping Duke’s lineup, followed by junior Chandler Eaton and sophomore Adrien Pendaries. Sophomore Evan Katz and junior Steven DiLisio complete Duke’s regional lineup.
Duke has finished third or better in three of its last four regional appearances, including a third-place showing in 2015 at the Lubbock Regional, a tied-second at the Baton Rouge Regional in 2017, and a second-place finish at the Raleigh Regional last season as the team shot 22-under par – the program’s record for an NCAA Regional competition.
Smalley is the 10th-ranked player nationally, and on pace to set the program’s career scoring record. The senior from Wake Forest, N.C., has a win at the Louisville Cardinal Challenge – one of three individual wins by Blue Devils this season. Eaton, ranked 19th nationally, claimed medalist honors at the Nike Collegiate Invitational, while Pendaries finished second at the Clemson Invitational in 16-under par to match the program’s 54-hole scoring record.
As a team, Green's squad has won three titles this season – the Louisville Cardinal Challenge, the Nike Collegiate Invitational and the Stroke Play title at the East Lake Cup.
Duke NCAA Athens Regional Lineup
Alex Smalley (Monday tee time: 8:14 a.m. ET)
Chandler Eaton (8:03 a.m. ET)
Adrien Pendaries (7:52 a.m. ET)
Evan Katz (7:41 a.m. ET)
Steven DiLisio (7:30 a.m. ET)