LOS CABOS, MEXICO – Despite not being able to make up much ground on the leaderboard, the Duke men’s golf team saw improvements from three of its Blue Devils that helped keep the squad from slipping into the lower half of the field.
Duke’s 288 (+4) was a one-stroke improvement from yesterday’s effort, enabling them to bump up to 6th.
Jake Shuman, Chandler Eaton, Adrien Pendaries and Shrish Dwivedi all tied for best round on Monday, posting one-over 71s. However, it was the latter three who saw their scores improve from yesterday’s output.
Most noticeably, Adrien Pendaries shaved off five strokes from his opening round of 77. The freshman began play with a triple bogey on No. 9 that would soon be followed by bogeys on 10 and 12, but he persevered the remainder of the day, snaring four birdies in the process.
“I just stuck to the game plan today and stayed patient,” said Pendaries, “and I was able to play flawless golf and make a few birdies from then on which was nice. It feels great to have been able to dig deep and turn it around today. Most guys on the team finished well as I did and it's good for momentum going into tomorrow.”
For the second day in a row, Chandler Eaton and Shrish Dwivedi both reeled in identical scores, with the former’s card once again being dominated by pars and the latter’s highlighted by a five-stroke improvement on hole no. 9.
Eaton’s 15 pars on Monday were an increase from Sunday’s 14, and although it has been difficult not finding the red, the sophomore has remained positive.
“Honestly it's been a little frustrating making so many pars,” admitted Eaton, “but I'm happy that I'm giving myself some chances. It's easy to let this course intimidate you so the goals for tomorrow are to play with more instinct, control my emotions, and let the putter get hot.”
Dwivedi managed to secure four birdies on Monday, giving him seven for the tournament, and he used that quartet to help negate some of the damage that came in the form of four bogeys and a triple.
“It is very easy to hit a decent strike and end up in a difficult position out here, so I felt like I did a good job of taking advantage of my green light opportunities,” said Dwivedi. “The eagle was my second hole of the day so the wind was gusting pretty good left to right. On that hole, it wasn’t ideal because of the dogleg left but I aimed at the corner and hit one into the air off the tee the rode the wind and took the slope down to 130 yards. From there it was just a classic wedge shot that the team had practiced prior to leaving Duke, so I was able to putt that three feet for the eagle. For tomorrow I just want to dial in the speed a bit more, and really stick to my target on the tougher tee shots. Doing those two things will put me in a great position to help the team make a charge of up the leaderboard with some strong teams.”
Senior Jake Shuman put together another solid round in his second try, garnering four birdies to add to yesterday’s seven. Aside from three birdies on 6, 10 and 13, Shuman’s only true blemish came on 11 where a double bogey would prove to be the result.
Alex Smalley was hit with a pair of 7s on nos. 6 and 9, as well as bogeys on 8 and 11, but the sophomore rallied to snare five birdies in response, pushing his score to 73 (+2) and enabling him to remain in the top 25 on the leaderboard.
Leaderboard through two rounds:
The Blue Devils will return to action for tomorrow’s final round, set to begin at 10:00 a.m. EST with a shotgun start.
Live scoring will be available via golfstatresults.com.