Duke, Leona Maguire win ACC Championship

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Duke, Leona Maguire win ACC Championship

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Duke, Leona Maguire win ACC Championship

Here is a recap of the 2017 ACC Championship at The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island, S.C., which concluded Saturday:

FULL RESULTS: Team | Individual

TEAM CHAMPION: Duke (5-under 859). The Blue Devils have reclaimed their spot atop the ACC with another conference title. This is the 20th ACC Championship in school history but the first since 2014. This was Duke’s all the way, as the Blue Devils went wire-to-wire. The team led by one after 18 holes thanks to a 4-under 284 before producing a 2-under 286 to stretch the lead to nine. A closing 1-over 287 ensured nine would be the victory margin for No. 8 Duke over No. 4 Florida State. The Blue Devils will enter next month’s NCAA Regionals having won consecutive events. Duke has captured three wins overall in 2016-17.

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION: Leona Maguire, Duke (6-under 210). Maguire staying on with Duke has produced excellent results. The junior appeared she might turn pro after the fall portion of the 2016-17 season, but she reversed course – instead intending to stay through 2017-18. How’s she done in her five events since that announcement? Three wins, a runner up and a tie for sixth. Pretty outstanding. Maguire has now won consecutive events and three on the season, and this is her second ACC individual title (also capturing it in 2015). She was in the lead all week, opening in 4-under 68 to share first with North Carolina’s Bryana Nguyen. A wild six-birdie, six-bogey 72 ensured she stayed tied through 36 holes – this time with Florida State’s Kim Metraux. Maguire opened Saturday’s final round with a birdie and posted a smooth closing 70 to finish off a two-shot win. Maguire was already the slight front-runner for the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M. Now her chances of winning that award for a second time, after getting it in 2015, increase.

QUOTABLE: “We knew that Florida State was going to push us until the end. When I came through the turn, I saw that we were just one stroke ahead, and then even. I knew it was going to take some solid rallies down the stretch, and give credit where credit is due, to all our girls. We fought until the very end and managed to pull away.” – Leona Maguire, to Duke University Athletics

CHIP SHOTS: For the second straight year, Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho places runner up at ACCs. This time, the sophomore went 70-71-71 for solo second at 4 under. Unfortunately, her No. 14 Demon Deacons finished last among the 12 teams by 15 shots at 67 over. … The Seminoles may not have won, but the runner-up showing marks the team’s eighth top-2 finish this season. Six of those are wins. … Nguyen shot 76 in the second round but a steady 72 ensured an even-par showing and a T-8 finish. Her No. 30 North Carolina squad placed fourth at 12 over. … Metraux dropped to T-17 at 3 over thanks to a final-round 79. … Duke’s entire starting lineup finished in the top 20. Aside from Maguire, there was Sandy Choi (T-4, 1 under), Ana Belac (T-14, 2 over), Virginia Elena Carta (T-17, 3 over) and Gurbani Singh (T-17, 3 over). … Virginia, ranked 56th by Golfweek but 60th in the Golfstat rankings used to determine postseason hopes, will face an interesting wait as NCAA Regionals approach. According to Golfweek’s Lance Ringler, the current magic number to reach Regionals is 56. The Cavaliers finished solo eighth at 32 over and saw no bad losses this week, and the team earned a win over a top-15 team in Wake Forest. Virginia is certainly on the bubble to qualify for an at-large for Regionals, but its performance here could’ve helped secure a postseason spot for the Cavaliers. We’ll see.

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