Duke goes low to overtake Georgia Tech at East
Team winner: Duke, 1-over 865
Individual winner: Abraham Ancer, Oklahoma, 6-under 210
Also moving on: 2. Georgia Tech (869), 3. Oklahoma (875), 4. LSU (880), 5. Kent State (893)
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No surprise here: On a course that had yielded few birdies through the first two rounds of the East Regional, Duke sure went low Saturday at the Pete Dye River Course to capture the team title. The Blue Devils shot a final-round, 8-under 280 to top conference rival Georgia Tech by four strokes.
“They’ve got it in them, there’s no doubt about that,” Duke coach Jamie Green said. “To do it in the final pairing and knowing what’s coming after this final week, it’s got to be one of the best rounds we’ve ever had.”
Duke was led by Julian Suri, who finished fifth, and Tim Gornik, who closed with a 6-under 66 to set a competitive course record. Good timing for the Blue Devils, who overtook Georgia Tech, the No. 2 team in the country, en route to the victory.
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Stop the presses: Kent State is headed to the NCAA Championship for the second consecutive year after finishing fifth, three strokes ahead of host Virginia Tech.
“We didn’t play our best today, but we were good enough,” said Kent State coach Herb Page. “It’s always an enjoyable journey, and sometimes you are able to get through even when you are not on your game. There was a huge amount of pressure out there, and our guys delivered down the stretch when we needed it.”
The Golden Flashes were led by Taylor Pendrith and Kevin Miller, who finished T-14 and T-19, respectively. John Hahn, a three-time winner this season, shot rounds of 75-75-77 to finish T-37.
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Short shots: After a first-round scare, LSU easily advanced to the NCAA Championship. John Peterson (68), Ken Looper (70) and Andrew Loupe (71) each broke par in the final round. ... Oklahoma sophomore Abraham Ancer earned medalist honors for the second time this season (Desert Shootout) after rounds of 70-71-69 were good enough for a two-stroke victory over Georgia Tech’s Kyle Scott and James White, and Coastal Carolina’s Sebastian Soderberg, who advanced to the NCAA Championship by being the low individual on a non-advancing team.
– Ryan Lavner