DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s golf program recently wrapped up a very successful 2017 fall campaign in which the Blue Devils won three of four tournaments they competed in and shot a staggering 59-under-par.
The Blue Devils opened the fall at the Jim West Challenge and set a Duke 54-hole tournament record with a 33-under-par ledger to win by 22-stroke over Oklahoma. In the tournament, senior Leona Maguire carded a school-record 13-under-par, 200, to win the individual crown. Four of the five Blue Devils shot under par scores for Duke – Ana Belac (-9, 204), Jaravee Boonchant (-8, 205) and Virginia Elena Carta (-3, 210).
Duke next competed in the Windy City Classic and ended up placing fifth overall as the Blue Devils couldn’t get much going during the week. Maguire paced Duke with a tied ninth finish (215).
The Blue Devils rebounded in the next event with a 31-under-par score to win the Tar Heel Invitational by one stroke over second-ranked Alabama. Maguire claimed her ninth career victory as she shot 12-under-par, 204, over the three days of play. Once again, four of the five Blue Devils shot under par – Carta (-8, 208), Boonchant (-5, 211) and Belac (-3, 213).
Duke closed the fall at the Landfall Tradition and won a rain-shortened tournament with a 14-under-par score. For the second straight tournament, the Blue Devils won by one stroke over Alabama. Belac, a sophomore from Slovenia, won her first collegiate event with a nine-under-par, 135, as she tied with Virginia’s Beth Lillie.
In the Rankings
Duke finished the fall at No. 4 overall behind UCLA, Alabama and Arkansas. Individually, Maguire was No. 9, while Belac (19), Boonchant (20), freshman Miranda Wang (75) and Carta (81) were all in the top 81.
For only the third time in school history, the Blue Devils shot under par during the fall. The 59-under was a new Duke record eclipsing the previous mark of 43-under-par from the 2003-04 campaign. The 2003-04 team won all five tournaments it competed in that fall and eventually won a school-record 10 tournaments. The Blue Devils finished third at the NCAA Championship. The 2015-16 squad shot six-under-par during the fall of 2015 for the only other under-par Duke squad in school history.
Rookie Jaravee Boonchant has made an immediate impact with the Blue Devils since stepping on campus in August. In four tournaments, Boonchant posted a 70.27 stroke average, one top five finish, two top 10 placements and four top 20 finishes. She shot a combined 13-under-par over the four events and notched four rounds in the 60s. Boonchant only shot over par in two rounds all fall. A product of Bangkok, Thailand, Boonchant is currently ranked No. 20 overall in the Golfweek listing.
Belac Nets First Victory
Sophomore Ana Belac opened the Landfall Tradition with a career-best and tournament-record six-under-par, 66, and went on to finish in a tie for first at the rain-shortened event. The victory was the first of her career. She shot a career-best nine-under-par, 135, to finish in a tie along with Beth Lillie of Virginia. Belac, who hails from Portoroz, Slovenia, has eight rounds of even or under par in four tournaments. In 10 tournaments as a rookie, Belac had 11 rounds of even or under par. Belac has totaled a 70.55 stroke average to kick off the season with two top five and three top 20 placements.
Maguire Moves Up Record Charts
After totaling the second-lowest stroke average in NCAA history as a junior with a 70.29 ledger, Maguire has opened the final year with the Blue Devils with an impressive 69.18 mark. She had two victories and four top 10 finishes in fall.
In the Duke career charts, she ranks third in wins (9), tied second in top five finishes (21), tied third in top 10 finishes (30), tied seventh in top 20 finishes (32), tied second in even or under par rounds (72), second in rounds in the 60s (27) and fourth as Duke’s tournament scorer (25).
All Time Wins Mark
Head coach Dan Brooks moved his NCAA record for all-time Division I wins to 131 with the three victories in the fall. Brooks has now won at least one tournament in 33 of 34 seasons at Duke. He has guided the Blue Devils to three or more wins in a season 20 times out of 34 years.
Wang Makes Debut
After enrolling in school at Duke in the spring of 2017 and redshirting, freshman Miranda Wang made her debut with the Blue Devils this fall. Wang, who hails from Beijing, China, competed in three tournaments and totaled a 72.88 stroke average. She placed a season-best tied 18th at the Landfall Tradition with rounds of 70 and 75. In the Tar Heel Invitational, Wang came up big in the final round as she carded three birdies on her last four holes to help push the Blue Devils to a one-stroke victory over second-ranked Alabama. She finished with a two-under, 70, in the final round.