GREENSBORO, N.C. – On a chilly Sunday that saw not one team finish the tournament below par, Duke managed to snag a top-3 finish with an 879 (+15) overall.
Finishing the event sandwiched between ACC rivals North Carolina and North Carolina State, the Blue Devils ended up just six strokes out from champion Northwestern, who posted an 873 (+9) for the weekend.
Alex Smalley finished his tournament with a three-over 75, pushing his score to even. With the effort on Sunday, the junior snared his third top-5 finish of the fall, a team best.
In his first tournament as No. 1 for Duke’s five-man lineup, Freshman Evan Katz put forth the team’s second-best performance, rounding out his score at four-over par. Katz shot an even 72 on Sunday, tied for lowest round of those not playing as individuals for Duke.
"It was awesome to get my first taste of being in the lineup for the team," Katz said. "The firmness of the greens and wind made it a tough mental test. Letting things go that were out of my control was a big part of being able to stay focused on the shot at hand, and helped me stay pretty steady in very unstable conditions."
Alpharetta, Ga. native Chandler Eaton, similar to teammate Katz, posted an even 72 in his final round. The sophomore tallied a trio of birdies, but three bogeys to match kept his score at seven over for the weekend.
Senior Adam Wood shot a two-over 74 that was marred by three consecutive bogeys on holes 10, 11 and 12. Three birdies on 1, 2 and 4, however, kept his afternoon intact, and Wood would go on to finish with a final score of 13-over par.
Wood’s senior counterpart Jake Shuman was unable to overcome three double bogeys on Sunday, as an 80 (+8) would move him to 14-over for the tournament.
Freshman Adrien Pendaries had the best Blue Devil performance on Sunday, recording a round of 70 (-2) that consisted of four birdies with two back-to-back on holes 4 and 5. Pendaries finished the tournament in the top-10 at three over.
Steven DiLisio also boasted an under-par round in the finale, shooting a one-under 71 with three birdies. The sophomore rounded out his weekend at six over, tied for 14th.
Senior Ben Silverman finished seven over for the event after carding a five-over 77 on Sunday. With the T-17 finish, Silverman notches his second top-20 finish of the fall.
Harrison Taee ended Sunday with an overall score of 11-over par after shooting an 80 (+8) in his last round, and freshman Qi wen Wong concluded his first tournament as a Blue Devil at 14-over having shot a 78 (+6) on Sunday.
Shrish Dwivedi’s overall score was pushed to 27-over after his round of 79 (+7) to finish the event.
Head coach Jamie Green spoke to the ups and downs of this weekend, from a challenging course to the perseverance of his players.
“You’re going to have quite a roller coaster at times and the game can be unpredictable,” Green said. “If you can maintain predictability within, if you can do things within your own control as well as possible, then the outcomes generally will be consistent. Steven and Adrien in particular putted the ball really well today and for the most part, this whole weekend. Both have plenty of length off the tee and each were able to take advantage of some of the par 5’s.”
Furthermore, Green addressed the talent he sees in his team across the board, and how that will be an advantage moving forward.
“We’ve got strength from top to bottom,” noted Green. “We’ve got guys that have ability from the freshman to the senior class. I’m really pleased when you look up and down that lineup and you see as many freshmen and sophomores playing well towards the end of the fall, knowing that these guys are balancing academics with being able to perform on the course as well. We’ll take stock of what happened this fall, the good and the bad, and each guy will have his own individual game plan.”
Alex Smalley – 5th
*Adrien Pendaries – T-7th
Evan Katz – T-9th
*Steven DiLisio – T-14th
Chandler Eaton – T-17th
*Ben Silverman – T-17th
*Harrison Taee – T-28th
Adam Wood – T-38th
Jake Shuman – T-41st
*Qi wen Wong – T-41st
*Shrish Dwivedi – 70th
The Blue Devils will return to action next calendar year when they open up play in the Sea Best Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. on February 5.