HANAHAN, S.C. - Reigning National Player of the Year Lindy Duncan carded a three-under par round of 69 and is tied for third individually, as the third-ranked Duke women's golf team opened the fall portion of its schedule in a tie for second at the Cougar Classic in Hanahan, S.C.
The Blue Devils shot a two-under-par, 286, and trail first round leader Southern California (285) by only one stroke at the 6,219 yard, par 72 Yeamans Hall Club. The Blue Devils are tied with Virginia and Florida at two-under-par, while Georgia (287), Auburn (288), Alabama (289), Vanderbilt (289), N.C. State (290) and Wisconsin (292) round out the top 10.
As a team, Duke carded 11 birdies and one eagle on the day.
Duncan, a three-time All-America, opened the morning with her only bogey of the day on the par four 10th hole. However, she was able to immediately respond with a birdie on the very next hole, the 387-yard 11th. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native would go on to register a team-high four birdies on the morning, including back-to-back birdies on the par-five fourth hole and the par-four fifth hole. On her second nine, Duncan carded a total of three birdies and fired a bogey-free three-under par, 33. She hit 13 greens, eight fairways and had a team-best 28 putts.
The individual leaders after the first day of competition are Marta Sanz of Auburn and Isabelle Lendl of Florida, who fired five-under, 67s.
In her first collegiate round, freshman Yi Ashley Xiao fired an even-par, 72 to place her in a tie for 20th. Xiao, who hails from China, registered a one-under-par, 35, on her first nine holes of the day with an eagle on the par five 15th, a birdie and two bogeys. On No. 15, she hit her 4-hybrid from 196 yards away to within four feet and knocked in the putt for eagle. On her second nine, Xiao carded one birdie, six pars and two bogeys. She hit 12 fairways, 13 greens and had 33 putts on the day.
Laetitia Beck, who finished in the top-10 in last year's Cougar Classic, registered one birdie and one bogey to go along with 16 pars, to shoot an opening round of 72. She is tied for 20th heading into the second round. A product of Caesarea, Israel, Beck hit 16 greens, all 14 fairways and had 35 putts.
Senior Stacey Kim was able to play one-under golf over the final 16 holes of play, after a double-bogey on her second hole of the day, the par four, 11th. The Columbus, Ga., followed her double-bogey with a birdie on the 12th as she chipped in from 20 yards out with her 56-degree wedge. She also registered birdies on the 15th and the eighth, her 17th hole of the day. Kim shot a one-over par, 73, on the day, placing her in a tie for 33rd after the first round. She hit 12 fairways, 12 greens and had 30 putts.
Freshman Celine Boutier, also making her collegiate debut, opened the three-day tournament with a one-over par, 73. Boutier, who hails from Montrouge, France, registered two bogeys and closed her round with her only birdie of the day, on the par five, ninth. She hit 15 greens, 12 fairways and had 35 putts
The Blue Devils will play in the second round of the Cougar Classic tomorrow beginning at 12:35 along with Alabama and Southern California. Live scoring will be available at www.Golfstat.com.