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DURHAM, N.C. - recently sat down with junior Yaroslav Merkulov of the Duke men’s golf team to learn of highlights from his golf career. The junior owns a 21st-place finish this season in the Heel Devil Individual. What kind of clubs do you play?
Yaroslav Merkulov:
I have a TaylorMade driver; I think it is a Burner TP. I have a RocketBallz three-wood, 14.5 degree. I have a Titleist hybrid, Titleist Combo-set irons, Titleist Vokey wedges and a Scotty Cameron putter. I play with a Titleist ProV1X golf ball. What kind of pre-round superstitions do you have before tournaments?
I always mark the ball heads up with the coin. I usually try to use a coin from the ‘60s. I always walk with one tee and one coin in my right pocket and my glove has to be in my left pocket. It is something I have always done and I feel comfortable with it. Is there a shot that sticks out in your mind that you have hit under pressure?
The 2009 Junior Players, which was played at TPC Sawgrass. On the 17th hole of the final round, the flagstick was on the far right side of the green. I remember I hit a knock-down eight-iron. My caddie told me to keep the ball low when I was hitting into that green and I hit it within eight feet. I made the birdie and that got me out of a three-way tie for second place to second place alone. I didn’t win the tournament, but that one sticks out. Another one that sticks out is when I holed a 20-foot putt on the final hole of the state junior that same year and shot a 61 in the final round. How many hole-in-ones have you hit?
One, I was 14 when I hit it. It was on the 14th hole of my home course. It was an uphill par three and I didn’t see it go in, but I went up and couldn’t find the ball, looked in the hole and there it was. What is your go to shot?
Probably a draw, right to left shot. What is your favorite club?
I would say the driver. I like hitting the long ball.

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