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FRANKLIN, Tenn. -  The fifth-ranked Duke women’s golf team carded an opening-round of one-over-par, 289, at the 2012 NCAA Championship and sits in third place with 54-holes remaining at the 6,377-yard, par 72 Vanderbilt Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Tenn.

After snapping a 13-year streak of advancing to the NCAA Championship a year ago, the Blue Devils provided a solid first round, which included a tied for second-best opening 18 for Duke in the championship since 1998.  The Blue Devils have posted only four rounds in the 280s over the last six championship appearances for Duke.  

Taking the lead after 18 holes was Alabama with a two-under-par, 286, and leads by two strokes over Virginia (288).  Rounding out the top 10 is Duke (289), North Carolina (290), UCLA (292), Arizona State (292), Purdue (293), LSU (293), Oklahoma (294) and Michigan State (296).

“I don’t think it is essential, but it is a nice thing to have,” commented Duke head coach Dan Brooks on getting a good start at NCAA Championships. “You can take a little comfort from it.”

Immediately following Tuesday’s round, Virginia held a six-under-par, 282, team ledger but Elizabeth Brightwell of the Cavaliers signed for the wrong score and was disqualified.  This dropped Virginia’s score to an even-par, 288.  

As a team, Duke posted 11 birdies on the day and played the final six holes at seven-under-par.  Over those final six holes, the Blue Devils notched four birdies and one eagle.

Leading the Duke charge in the first round was the top-ranked golfer in the nation Lindy Duncan, who carded a two-under-par, 70, and is tied for ninth overall.  A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Duncan got off to a shaky start with two bogeys over her first seven holes.  She started to get things going after draining a six-foot birdie putt on No. 17 as she went on to make the turn at one-over, 37.  

After making a bogey on the 384-yard, par four first hole, Duncan started dialing it in.  She drained a two-inch birdie putt on No. 2 and then registered four straight pars.  On the second hole, she hit her wedge from 70-yards to inches from cup.  Duncan, who is a two-time first team All-America and three-time ACC Player of the Year selection, then hit her drive on the 504-yard, par five seventh hole near the trees on the right and was forced to punch out down the fairway.  She stuck her approach to within two feet and sank her third birdie of the day.  

“Yeah, very good,” commented Duncan on her finishing three-under-par the final three holes.  “It was kind of a struggle all day.  Coming into the front nine, I knew there was going to be some opportunities on the par fives.  I made a birdie on hole seven and then luckily eagled nine so that really helped.  Anytime you get off too a good start and you are not to far behind the leaders is good.  It is really important to keep pace with them.”

Duncan came up short on No. 8 and holed a key five-footer for par to remain at even par heading into the 455-yard, par five ninth hole.  She bombed a drive and had only 210 yards to the green.  Duncan hit her hybrid to the front of the green and rolled to within 15 feet.  She went on to drain her fifth eagle of the season to give her a two-under-par, 70, on the day.  On the morning, she hit nine fairways, 12 greens and had a team-best 29 putts.  

“Well, let me tell you, when Lindy [Duncan] made that putt [on No. 9 for eagle], that was key.  We had a lot of good things that happened, but we needed some putts to fall,” said Brooks. “This is the national championship and you cannot afford to miss a lot of those little putts. That was pretty important to get us in position tomorrow.”

In the individual action, Duncan trails first round leader Portland Rosen of Virginia by four strokes.  Rosen shot a 66 and leads by one stroke over Purdue’s Laura Gonzalez (67).  

“I hope so,” said Duncan on the finishing giving her momentum going into tomorrow.  “It was kind of a struggle, a little shaky in the beginning.  But I did a good job of hanging in there.  Anytime you can score well is really exciting.”

Continuing her stellar play was junior Stacey Kim, who carded her third straight round of even-par, 72.  She sits tied for 19th overall in the individual action.  Kim, who is a product of Columbus, Ga., had a solid start with a par on No. 10 and then sank a three-foot birdie putt on No. 11 to move to one-under-par.  She had a bogey on the 12th hole, but went on to play the next six holes at one-under-par, with a birdie on the 321-yard, par four 17th hole as she stuck her approach to one foot.  Kim had a key up and down on 390-yard, par four 13th hole, after having a 30-yard chip from off the green.  

Kim had a tough stretch on No. 1 and No. 2 as she picked up bogeys, but settled down to play the final seven holes at one-under-par.  She notched her third birdie of the day on the 143-yard, par three fifth hole as she chipped in from 25 feet with her 60-degree wedge.  Kim hit 14 greens, 11 fairways and had 31 putts.    

After having to withdraw from the NCAA East Regional with an elbow injury, Alejandra Cangrejo returned to the lineup on Tuesday and continued her solid play with an even-par, 72.  She featured Duke’s best start on the day as she was two-under-par through six with birdies on the 11th and 15 holes.  Cangrejo, who is from Bogota, Colombia, sank a nine-footer for birdie on the 11th hole and rolled in a 25-footer on No. 15.  

“If we could get her on the golf course playing then yeah I could imagine something good happening because she has been playing really well,” said Brooks on having Cangrejo back in the lineup. “That is why she wanted to play so bad.”

She struggled over the next six holes with three bogeys and three pars to drop to one-over-par.  All three of her bogeys were off three-putts.  Cangrejo closed strong with five consecutive pars before hitting her approach shot on No. 9 to three feet and sinking the birdie putt.  On the day, she featured a team-high 34 putts, while hitting a team-best 16 greens and 10 fairways.  Her 16 greens in regulation is a career-best for the sophomore.  

“She is out there playing with an injury that really, really hurt,” said Brooks.  “The doctor said it was like hitting your funny bone with a hammer. She is out there with the courage to play. That is really tough.”

Playing in her second career NCAA Championship, junior Courtney Ellenbogen turned in a three-over-par, 75, on Tuesday and sits tied for 47th.  The top finisher for the Blue Devils at the 2010 NCAA Championship, Ellenbogen was solid all day except for a four-hole stretch in the opening nine where she went bogey, bogey, par and double-bogey to drop to four-over-par.  

A native of Blacksburg, Va., Ellenbogen regrouped and played her final 11 holes at one-under-par to close with a 75.  She sank her only birdie of the day on the 324-yard, par four second hole as she rolled in a 14-footer.  Ellenbogen hit 11 greens, eight fairways and had 31 putts on the day.  Prior to the NCAA East Regional, Ellenbogen featured a 77.48 stroke average, but over the last four rounds has dialed in a 74.25 average.  

After struggling in regional action to close out rounds, Laetitia Beck had the opposite in the first round on Tuesday.  Beck, a sophomore from Caesarea, Israel, was six-over-par through eight holes but was able to settle down and play her final 10 holes at even par to finish with a 78.  She carded her only birdie on her final hole as she sank a seven-footer at No. 9.  Beck posted nine greens, six fairways and had 32 putts on the day, but she hit her final seven greens in regulation to close.  

Duke will tee off on Wednesday in the second round beginning at 11:50 a.m., on hole No. 1 along with North Carolina and N.C. State.

“I thought the course was fantastic,” said Brooks. “The greens are really good. They are firm but they are not crazy. You just have to be smart. There are not a whole lot of impossible shots, but there are a lot of shots that are very, very challenging.”


Notes:

•  Lindy Duncan’s five eagles this season is the most by a Blue Devil in a single season since the 2007-08 campaign when Amanda Blumenherst tallied five.

•  Stacey Kim has notched three straight rounds of even-par, 72, and now has totaled six rounds of even or under par on the season.  She has posted four of those even or under par rounds in the last three tournaments.  Kim is making her second appearance in the NCAA Championship, after posting a tied for 110th place finish in 2010.

•  Alejandra Cangrejo was one of only seven golfers to birdie the 403-yard, par four 15th hole.

•  Duke was a combined 6-over-par on the 154-yard, par three 17th hole.

•  The last time Duke was in the top five after round one was in 2010 as the Blue Devils were tied for third.  Duke ended up finishing tied for eighth in Wilmington, N.C.


 - d - u - k - e -


Duke Results

- T9 Lindy Duncan Duke 70 -2
- T18 Alejandra Cangrejo Duke 72 E
- T18 Stacey Kim Duke 72 E
- T47 Courtney Ellenbogen Duke 75 +3
- T95 Laetitia Beck Duke 78 +6

1 Team Scores
1 Alabama 286 -2
2 Virginia 288 E
3 Duke 289 +1
4 North Carolina 290 +2
T5 UCLA 292 +4
T5 Arizona State 292 +4
T7 Purdue 293 +5
T7 LSU 293 +5
9 Oklahoma 294 +6
10 Michigan State 296 +8
T11 Southern Cal 297 +9
T11 Colorado 297 +9
T11 Texas 297 +9
T14 North Carolina State 299 +11
T14 Baylor 299 +11
16 Tennessee 300 +12
17 Texas A&M 301 +13
T18 South Carolina 302 +14
T18 Florida 302 +14
T20 Arkansas 303 +15
T20 Ohio State 303 +15
T22 Pepperdine 306 +18
T22 Vanderbilt 306 +18
24 Stanford 309 +21

Start Finish Player Team Scores

- 1 Portland Rosen Virginia 66 -6
- 2 Laura Gonzalez Purdue 67 -5
- T3 Catherine O'Donnell North Carolina 68 -4
- T3 Brooke Pancake Alabama 68 -4
- T5 Giulia Molinaro Arizona State 69 -3
- T5 Chirapat Jao-Javanil Oklahoma 69 -3
- T5 Tessa Teachman LSU 69 -3
- T5 Stephanie Meadow Alabama 69 -3
- T9 Lindy Duncan Duke 70 -2
- T9 Kimberly Kaufman * Texas Tech 70 -2
- T9 Madelene Sagstrom LSU 70 -2
- T12 Jaclyn Jansen Baylor 71 -1
- T12 Brittany Marchand North Carolina State 71 -1
- T12 Brittany Altomare Virginia 71 -1
- T12 Mariko Tumangan Stanford 71 -1
- T12 Katelyn Sepmoree Texas 71 -1
- T12 Emily Talley Colorado 71 -1
- T18 Alejandra Cangrejo Duke 72 E
- T18 Courtney Gunter North Carolina 72 E
- T18 Stacey Kim Duke 72 E
- T18 Kelsey Vines * Oklahoma State 72 E
- T18 Anne Tanguay Oklahoma 72 E
- T18 Rachel Rohanna Ohio State 72 E
- T18 Lindsey Solberg Michigan State 72 E
- T18 Brianna Do UCLA 72 E
- T18 Erynne Lee UCLA 72 E
- T27 Laura Blanco Arizona State 73 +1
- T27 Amy Meier Ohio State 73 +1
- T27 Emily Tubert Arkansas 73 +1
- T27 Rachel Morris Southern Cal 73 +1
- T27 Lee Lopez UCLA 73 +1
- T27 Paula Reto Purdue 73 +1
- T27 Katerina Ruzickova Texas A&M 73 +1
- T34 Lauren Greenlief Virginia 74 +2
- T34 Evan Jensen Florida 74 +2
- T34 Hayley Davis Baylor 74 +2
- T34 Rocio Sanchez Lobato * Georgia 74 +2
- T34 Noemi Jimenez Arizona State 74 +2
- T34 Christine Meier Michigan State 74 +2
- T34 Taylor Schmidt Oklahoma 74 +2
- T34 Inah Park Southern Cal 74 +2
- T34 Bertine Strauss Texas 74 +2
- T34 Alina Ching Pepperdine 74 +2
- T34 Katie Burnett South Carolina 74 +2
- T34 Nathalie Mansson Tennessee 74 +2
- T34 Jennifer Kirby Alabama 74 +2
- T47 Katherine Perry North Carolina 75 +3
- T47 Stani Schiavone Baylor 75 +3
- T47 Amanda Baker North Carolina State 75 +3
- T47 Allie White North Carolina 75 +3
- T47 Courtney Ellenbogen Duke 75 +3
- T47 Augusta James North Carolina State 75 +3
- T47 Gabriella Dominguez * Texas Tech 75 +3
- T47 Liz Nagel Michigan State 75 +3
- T47 Caroline Powers Michigan State 75 +3
- T47 Emma Lavy Arkansas 75 +3
- T47 Tiffany Lua UCLA 75 +3
- T47 Somin Lee Pepperdine 75 +3
- T47 Doris Chen Southern Cal 75 +3
- T47 Sophia Popov Southern Cal 75 +3
- T47 Amanda Strang South Carolina 75 +3
- T47 Natalie Reeves Texas A&M 75 +3
- T47 Kristin Coleman Colorado 75 +3
- T47 Sara Monberg Tennessee 75 +3
- T47 Kendall Martindale Vanderbilt 75 +3
- T47 Hannah Collier Alabama 75 +3
- T47 Lauren Stratton Vanderbilt 75 +3
- T47 A.J. Newell Tennessee 75 +3
- T47 Alex Stewart Colorado 75 +3
- T70 Camilla Hedberg Florida 76 +4
- T70 Andrea Watts Florida 76 +4
- T70 Mia Piccio Florida 76 +4
- T70 Margarita Ramos * Arizona 76 +4
- T70 Daniela Ordonez Arizona State 76 +4
- T70 Allyssa Ferrell Michigan State 76 +4
- T70 Meredith Swanson South Carolina 76 +4
- T70 Haley Stephens Texas 76 +4
- T70 Kishi Sinha Purdue 76 +4
- T70 Lisa McCloskey Southern Cal 76 +4
- T70 Nicole Vandermade Texas 76 +4
- T70 Lindsay Gahm LSU 76 +4
- T70 Jennifer Coleman Colorado 76 +4
- T70 Patricia Garcia Texas A&M 76 +4
- T70 Chessey Thomas Tennessee 76 +4
- T85 Briana Mao Virginia 77 +5
- T85 Casey Grice North Carolina 77 +5
- T85 Victoria Vela Arkansas 77 +5
- T85 Aurora Kan Purdue 77 +5
- T85 Justine Dreher South Carolina 77 +5
- T85 Liv Cheng Pepperdine 77 +5
- T85 Ani Gulugian UCLA 77 +5
- T85 Erica Popson Tennessee 77 +5
- T85 Mary Michael Maggio Texas A&M 77 +5
- T85 Marina Alex Vanderbilt 77 +5
- T95 Ana Menendez North Carolina State 78 +6
- T95 Laetitia Beck Duke 78 +6
- T95 Vivian Tsui North Carolina State 78 +6
- T95 Claudia Lim Ohio State 78 +6
- T95 Emily Podzielinski Arkansas 78 +6
- T95 Justine Lee Arizona State 78 +6
- T95 Sally Watson Stanford 78 +6
- T95 Jessica Wallace Colorado 78 +6
- T95 Austin Ernst LSU 78 +6
- T104 Valerie Sternebeck Baylor 79 +7
- T104 Chelsey Cothran Baylor 79 +7
- T104 Emily Collins Oklahoma 79 +7
- T104 Hally Leadbetter Arkansas 79 +7
- T104 Jacki Marshall Oklahoma 79 +7
- T104 Suzie Lee South Carolina 79 +7
- T104 Victoria Scherer Purdue 79 +7
- T104 Rene Sobolewski Vanderbilt 79 +7
- T112 Maria Salinas * Florida State 80 +8
- T112 Kristina Wong Stanford 80 +8
- T112 Jan Chanpalangsri Ohio State 80 +8
- T112 Marissa Mar Stanford 80 +8
- T112 Kaitlin Drolson Pepperdine 80 +8
- T112 Grace Na Pepperdine 80 +8
- T112 Anna Leigh Keith Vanderbilt 80 +8
- T119 Susana Benavides Ohio State 81 +9
- T119 Sydney Burlison Stanford 81 +9
- T119 Desiree Dubreuil Texas 81 +9
- T122 Isabelle Lendl Florida 82 +10
- T122 Courtney McKim Alabama 82 +10
- T124 Sarah Beth Davis Texas A&M 83 +11
- T124 Jacqueline Hedwall LSU 83 +11
- - Elizabeth Brightwell Virginia D -

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