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Courtesy: Tim Cowie
Gina Kim
Kim's Birdie Sends Duke into NCAA Title Match
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/22/2019
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Duke women’s golf program will play for its seventh NCAA Championship Wednesday afternoon as the second-seeded Blue Devils took down reigning NCAA Champion and sixth-seeded Arizona in the semifinals at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Blue Devils will face fifth-seeded Wake Forest in an All-ACC championship, which will begin at 3 p.m. (ET). The Demon Deacons took down eighth-seeded Auburn, 4-0-1.

Fans can follow Wednesday afternoon’s championship live on Golf Channel beginning at 4 p.m. (ET). There will also be a Golf Central Pre Game from 2:30-4 p.m. (ET).

Duke has won NCAA Championships in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014. It marks the first time the Blue Devils have advanced to the finals since match play was instituted in 2015. As a school, Duke Athletics has won a total of 16 NCAA titles with women’s golf claiming six.

For the second straight day, Blue Devil freshman Gina Kim came through in the clutch taking down 14th-ranked Bianca Pagdanganan of Arizona, 1UP, to clinch the, 3-2, victory for Duke. Kim, who hails from Chapel Hill, N.C., trailed for five of the first nine holes, before winning No. 9 with a par to return the match to all square.

Kim, who won 1UP the day before on the last hole with a birdie, would take her first lead with a par on No. 13, but Pagdanganan evened the match with a birdie on the 15th. Kim calmly stepped up and stuck her approach on No. 16 to two feet and drained the birdie to go ahead, 1UP. Both golfers parred No. 17 and then Kim hit her tee shot on No. 18 into the fairway bunker.

Just like the day before, Kim came through in the clutch and stuck her sand shot to three feet and sank the birdie to give Duke the win.

Arizona would take a 1-0 lead in the match as Haley Moore took down Jaravee Boonchant, 4&3, but the Blue Devils responded quickly to even the score, 1-1, as senior Virginia Elena Carta won her second straight match with a 2&1 ledger over Sandra Nordaas. Carta, a native of Udine, Italy, led by as many as 5UP through nine holes and was able to close the contest on No. 17 with a par. She improved to 4-0-1 in NCAA Championship match play over her career.

The Wildcats netted the next point as Yusang Hou chipped in from the trap to take a 2&1 decision over sophomore Miranda Wang. A product of Beijing, China, Wong had battled back from being down four holes with five remaining to cut Hou’s lead to 1UP through 16.

Duke junior Ana Belac never trailed in the match against Ya Chun Chang, but was tied after the 12th hole. Belac, who is from Portoroz, Slovenia, would birdie No. 13 to go 1UP and then won No. 14 to take a 2UP advantage. After Chang birdied No. 15, the match returned to 1UP in favor of Belac. The two-time All-ACC selection, Belac was able to two-putt for par on the 17th to close her match, 2&1. She improved to 2-0 in match play in 2019.

Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks owns 135 career victories and six NCAA Championships on his resume.

Duke vs. Wake Forest (Championship)
Virginia Elena Carta vs. Siyun Liu
Jaravee Boonchant vs. Jennifer Kupcho
Miranda Wang vs. Letizia Bagnoli
Gina Kim vs. Emilia Migliaccio
Ana Belac vs. Vanessa Knecht

Duke 3, Arizona 2 (Semifinals)
Virginia Elena Carta def. Sandra Nordaas – 2&1
Haley Moore def. Jaravee Boonchant – 4&3
Yu-Sang Hou def. Miranda Wang – 4&3
Ana Belac def. Ya Chun Chang – 2&1
Gina Kim def. Bianca Pagdanganan – 1UP

Duke Golfers in Match Play in College

Virginia Elena Carta (7-4-1)
2015 East Lake Cup (1-1)
2016 Liz Murphey (2-1)
2016 NCAA Championship (2-0)
2017 Northwestern (0-2)
2018 NCAA Championship (0-0-1)
2019 NCAA Championship (2-0-0)

Ana Belac (4-3-1)
2016 East Lake Cup (1-1)
2017 Northwestern (1-1)
2017 Northwestern Quad (0-0-1)
2018 NCAA Championship (0-1)
2019 NCAA Championship (2-0)

Jaravee Boonchant (0-3)
2018 NCAA Championship (0-1)
2019 NCAA Championship (0-2)

Miranda Wang (0-2)
2019 NCAA Championship (0-2)

Gina Kim (2-0)
2019 NCAA Championship (2-0)