PAWLEY'S ISLAND (April 14, 2017) - Duke in search of its 20th ACC Women's Conference title is in prime position following two rounds at The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island. The Blue Devils are currently 6-under and nine shots in front of second place Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina all of whom are 3-over. NC State and Miami find themselves even further back in a tie for fifth at 10-over.
On Friday Duke was the only team under-par as they put together a 2-under tally. Through the first two rounds the Blue Devils have received contributions from their entire lineup and all five players are in the top-20.
The low Blue Devil thus far is the No. 1 ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Leona Maguire. An Olympian last summer, Maguire is presently 4-under and tied for the medalist lead. After shooting a 4-under 68 in the first round Maguire birdied six-times but also bogeyed six-times during the second round.
Three members of the Duke lineup are tied for seventh at even-par; Virginia Elena Carta, Ana Belac and Sandy Choi while Gurbani Singh is 5-over and tied for 16th.
Sharing the medalist lead with Maguire is Kim Metraux of Florida State. Metraux opened with a 3-under 69 before shooting a second day 1-under 71.
A birdie on the 16th hole, her fourth of the day, assured Metraux a share of the lead heading into the final round.
Wake Forest's Jennifer Kupcho is one shot back in second place at 3-under while Alice Hewson of Clemson and Sierra Sims of Wake Forest are tied for fourth 2-under.
ROUND ONE RECAP
After day one at ACC Women's Golf Championship 19-time winner Duke is leading the field but things are tight nearly across the board with still two days remaining. On Thursday Duke produced a 4-under first round at The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island and they will carry a one-stroke lead over Miami into the second round.
An additional three teams; Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson are all 1-under and sharing third place.
Pacing Duke during the first round was Leona Maguire, who at 4-under is sharing the individual lead. Maguire was nearly flawless during her Thursday 68 as she birdied five-times and bogeyed only once.
The native of Ireland opened her day with a birdie on the 1st and then proceeded to card additional birdies on Nos. 8, 10 and 13. Her lone bogey of the round came on the penultimate hole, but she bounced back with a closing birdie.
Duke received three other top-20 performances on Thursday; Sandy Choi (T13; -1), 2016 NCAA individual champion Virginia Elena Carta (T15; E) and Gurbani Singh (T18; +1).
Sharing the medalist lead with Maguire is North Carolina's Bryana Nguyen. Following a birdie on the 12th Nguyen found herself 1-over for the day but she was able to rally in a big way. The run for Nguyen began with a 13th hole birdie and continued with more of the same on Nos. 14, 16, 17 and 18.
In all Nguyen birdied five of her final six holes.
One-stroke behind the leaders in a tie for third at 3-under are Kim Metraux (Florida State), Sierra Sims (Wake Forest) and Renate Grimstad (Miami). Seven others are tied for sixth at 2-under.
A total of 17 players were even-par or better during the first round.