DURHAM, N.C. – The reigning three-time defending NCAA Champion Duke Women’s Golf team will officially open the 2007 fall season on Friday, Sept. 14 at the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship, which will be played at the 6,217-yard, Par 72 Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
“I am very excited to get started on the season,” said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. “We have a great group of players. They are talented, really motivated and I couldn’t ask for more from them. It is exciting to get on the road again.”
The tournament will be played from Sept. 14-16 and hosted by Vanderbilt University. It will be 54 holes played over three days with the Blue Devils looking to defend their 2006 team title with a total of 863, which was thee shots better than Georgia. Over the last three years since playing in the Mason Rudolph Championship, Duke has won each time.
Competing this weekend will be the top nine teams in the nation, according to the Golfweek Preseason Poll. Overall, 15 of the top 27 team in the poll will be playing, including Arizona (9), Arizona State (2), Auburn (5), Duke (1), Florida (13), Georgia (14), Kentucky, LSU (27), Ohio State, Oklahoma State (6), Purdue (7), South Carolina (24), Stanford (20), UCLA (4), USC (3), Vanderbilt (8) and Wake Forest (11).
Duke will feature a lineup of senior Jennifer Pandolfi, junior Amanda Blumenherst, sophomore Alison Whitaker, sophomore Rebecca Kim and freshman Kim Donovan. In a surprise move after team qualifying the last two weeks, two-time All-America Jennie Lee will not make the trip with the Blue Devils.
“It is always great to get new people in the lineup,” said Brooks. “There is nothing quite like having the experience being in the lineup. It will be great for Kim making her first trip and it has to be a boost to her confidence. It will also be nice for Rebecca to get officially in the lineup. I am excited to see the two of them perform.”
In both the Golfweek and Golf World preseason polls, Duke was ranked No. 1 in the nation marking the third consecutive year and the ninth time out of the last 10 seasons the Blue Devils have been tabbed the No. 1 ranked women’s golf team. The Blue Devils have been ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the preseason national polls for the 10 straight years.
Brooks enters his 24th season at Duke and has led the Blue Devils to five NCAA Championships and 102 career wins, which is the most in NCAA women’s golf history.
“The Ironhorse is a good golf course,” said Brooks. “We know it so the upperclassmen can share some good information to Rebecca and Kim. That is always a big help and I will be encouraging them to share as much as they know about the course with them.”
Fans can follow the action live on www.golfstat.com.
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