Duke has won twice in three tournaments this year
(Duke Athletics Photo)
CHAPEL HILL, NC (October 15, 2017) - In Saturday's Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational second round Duke put together a 17-under tally for their second best score in program history as they took a 10-stroke lead with 18-holes remaining. However, holding on during Sunday's final round proved to be difficult as they had to do everything in their power to pick up a victory in their home state.
Duke needed to hold on because Alabama charged hard on Sunday teaming for an 18-under day that put them at 30-under and one shot behind the Blue Devils who closed in 9-under to finish 31-under.
South Carolina (-18) came in third, for the first time in three tournaments Arkansas (-13) didn't earn the top-spot settling for fourth while host North Carolina (-8) took fifth.
The win was Duke's second win of the season in three tournaments after they won the Jim West Challenge to open their 2017-2018 campaign.
Leading the Blue Devils was senior Leona Maguire who continues to rewrite the record books at Duke. Last years ANNIKA Award and WGCA National Player of the Year winner combined rounds of 69-66-69 to finish 12-under and one-stroke better than the 11-under Ainhoa Olarra of South Carolina.
Maguire, an eight-time winner while at Duke and two-time medalist winner this year, began her day with a level-par 36 on the front nine before making her move on the second nine with four birdies and one bogey. Overall Maguire birdied five-times and bogeyed twice during the final round. The key stretch in the round was numbers 10-14 when Maguire birdied three-times.
Three other members of the Duke lineup finished inside the top-20 and all five players contributed at least one tally to the 54-hole score; Virginia Elena Carta (9th; -8), (T13; -5), Ana Belac (T20; -3), Miranda Wang (T30; E).
Alabama made their move on Sunday thanks to three players turning in sub-70 rounds. Lauren Stephenson (T3; -10) turned in a 6-under 66 while Kristen Gillman (T6; -9) and Cheyenne Knight (T16; -4) fired 5-under 67's. The round was Alabama's second lowest against par in program history, second only to their 25-under outburst in the third round of the 2016 Mason Rudolph Championship.
The top-five of the individual standings was rounded out by Emilia Migliaccio of Wake Forest and Ava Bergner of North Carolina joining Stephenson in third at 10-under.
Arkansas' Maria Fassi fell down the leaderboard a bit on Sunday to finish tied for 11th at 6-under. Fassi had won her first two events of the season.
ABOUT THE Tar Heel Invitational
54-hole women's college
by the University of North Carolina. Team (best four
scores out of five players each round) and individual
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