UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate: Duke scores comeback victory

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2008) – The Duke men’s golf team, led by a two-under 70 from senior Michael Quagliano, shot a one-over 289 in the final round to post a four-stroke win at the UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate at Forest Oaks Country Club. The Blue Devils entered the day in third place, but quickly erased a four-stroke deficit by playing the opening three holes of the final round at four-under par en route to its first tournament win of the season. Duke has now won three of the first 14 events under second-year head coach O.D. Vincent.

"I am very proud of our team," said Vincent. "It was a difficult day being so cold and windy. The guys showed a ton of resilience and heart. It was tight all day. Michael [Quagliano] came up big with an eagle and two birdies down the stretch, including one on the last hole. I thought the scoring was excellent throughout."

Duke finished at 869 (+5), followed by Michigan State at 873 (+9). Michigan finished third at 874 (+10) with Louisville, the defending champion and winner of two of the three previous team titles, placing fourth with a +14, 878. Tournament host UNCG was fifth at 888 (+24).

Payne Gniewek of Michigan State and Max Scorodo of Notre Dame tied for the individual lead. Both players finished at 213 (-3) for the 54-hole tournament. Duke's Adam Long finished tied for fourth with an even-par 216 (73-72-71), while freshman Spencer Anderson recorded his first top 10 finish (t-7) with a one-over 217 (72-71-74). There was no playoff due to travel considerations.

"I am really proud of Payne," said Spartan Coach Sam Puryear. "He is our third guy this year to win an individual tournament. That says a lot about our team. It says a lot out youth. I'm excited that our kids are getting better. It is my goal for the kids that come into the program that they get better."

Quagliano started with five straight pars on Tuesday before suffering a double-bogey on the par 4 sixth hole. He birdied the 578-yard, par 5 ninth hole to make the turn at one-over. Following three straight pars, the Ardsley, N.Y., native carded an eagle on the 525-yard, par 5 13th to get under par for the day. Quagliano added a birdie on No. 16 to get to two-under, but gave a stroke back with a bogey on the following hole. He recovered to birdie No. 18 for a two-under 70 to match his low round of the fall season. After shooting a six-over 78 in the opening round, Quagliano recovered with rounds of 72 and 70 to finish tied for 13th overall with a four-over 220.

Long played a big part in Duke's hot start, opening his day with back-to-back birdies. After three straight pars, he suffered a triple-bogey on No. 6 to slip to one-over. He got back to even-par with a birdie on No. 8 but dropped a stroke with a bogey on No. 9. Long played the first seven holes of the back side at three-under with birdies on No. 13, No. 15 and No. 16 to move to two-under. He closed the day bogey-par to record his second top 5 finish in three fall events.

Anderson had a pair of birdies (No. 2 and No. 7), two bogeys and five pars on the front side at Forest Oaks Country Club on Tuesday. He battled blustery conditions on the back nine carding seven pars and a pair of bogeys to finish the day with a two-over 74. The Pacific Palisades, Calif., native wrapped up the event with a season-best seventh place tie with a one-over 217 (72-71-74).

"Adam [Long] and Spencer [Anderson] were steady from start to finish," added Vincent.

Clark Klaasen also fired a two-over 74 in the closing round. He had three birdies, 10 pars and five bogeys on the day and finished the tournament tied for 30th with an eight-over 224 (73-77-74). Sophomore Wes Roach also finished tied for 30th after carding a five-over 77 in the final round.

"We have a lot to work on during the offseason, but this win will be tremendous motivation for the spring," said Vincent.

--Various AD reports in this story

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