As conference play draws near, Duke made a big statement for its postseason promise, claiming a 21-shot victory Sunday at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. It’s the second win for Duke this season after a come-from-behind victory at the NCAA Fall Preview in October.
Duke, No. 6 in Golfweek’s rankings, posted consecutive rounds of 12-over 300 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., during the first two days of the tournament, then improved by 11 strokes in Round 3. The Blue Devils finished at 25-over 889, 21 shots ahead of No. 7 Alabama, which climbed three spots up the leaderboard Sunday with a final-round 292.
No. 35 Arkansas was third at 48-over 912, with No. 9 Purdue and No. 3 Auburn tying for fourth at 51-over 915.
Auburn, who won the Tiger/Wave Invitational March 14, was second after Round 2, but dropped two spots after an 18-over 306 in the final round.
Duke also claimed the top two individual finishers. Freshman Lindy Duncan, who won the Dixie Amateur in January, posted a 3-under 213 for an eight-shot victory over teammate Stacey Kim, also a freshman, and Alabama freshman Jennifer Kirby. It was the first individual title of Duncan’s college career.
Kent State junior Martina Gavier was fourth at 7-over 223 and Arkansas junior Kelli Shean was another shot back in fifth.
Courtney Ellenbogen, the third freshman in Duke’s lineup, was T-28 at 15-over 231. Junior Kim Donovan finished T-20 at 13-over 229, while senior Alison Whitaker, whose played at the Australian Women’s Open earlier this month, tied for 37th.
Auburn junior Cydney Clanton, Golfweek’s top-ranked player, tied for ninth at 10-over 226.