Duke men's golf (Duke Athletics photo)
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 2, 2018) – Duke got its second victory of the season, and arguably its most impressive victory, Tuesday at the Nike Golf Collegiate. The Blue Devils finished on top of a 15-team field that included seven of the top 20 teams in the latest Golfweek/Bushnell Coaches Poll.
Team scores were not particularly low at Colonial Country Club. At 2-under 838, Duke was the only team under par for the tournament. Runner-up Vanderbilt was the only other team to go under par in Round 3. The Commodores had the round of the day, a 5-under 275 that carried them three spots up the leaderboard into second at 4 over.
This is the second consecutive team title for Duke, which also claimed the Louisville Collegiate in September. With the win, it marks the fifth consecutive season the team has won multiple team events in the same year.
“We’re thrilled for our guys, they played with such poise,” said head coach Jamie Green. “They earned this feeling and these trophies from hole 1 to the 54th. We had to come from behind after the first day and that’s the mark of a really good team. These guys have bounce-back rounds in them. They play with great confidence, no matter the position they’re in and that’s really something special.”
Duke also claimed the individual medalist in Chandler Eaton, who closed with back-to-back rounds of 67. Eaton was part of an eight-man tie for first after the second round, but broke free from that tie on Tuesday for his second career individual title. He was 6 under for the week after an even-par 70 to start.
While Duke all but had the title in the bag, there was some drama on the 18th green as the individual race played out. With Eaton at 5 under in the fairway on 18, Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer birdied the 18th to draw even with the Blue Devil junior.
Eaton knocked his second shot on the green, then snaked in a long birdie putt to claim the outright championship. Eaton birdied Nos. 1, 9, 10 and 18 on Tuesday.
“I am so proud of how we battled on this golf course,” Eaton said. “Winning this tournament as an individual and as a team is such a huge honor, it is probably the hardest regular season event to win and we were able to get it done. This was probably the hardest but most rewarding day of my life and I can’t thank my teammates, coaches, and family enough. Colonial tests every part of your game.”
Of Eaton’s nine rounds this season, the last eight have been played at or below par. He is 18-under in that stretch.
Information from Duke Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE Nike Golf Collegiate
54-hole men's college tournament with team (best
scores out of five players) and individual
View Complete Tournament Information