Duke clinches spot in NCAA Championship semis with clutch eagle

Tim Cowie

Duke clinches spot in NCAA Championship semis with clutch eagle

College

Duke clinches spot in NCAA Championship semis with clutch eagle

STILLWATER, Okla. – Duke will continue to enjoy Karsten Creek, at least for one more round. A 3-2 win over Texas in the quarterfinals of match play will send the Blue Devils to an afternoon matchup with Alabama.

After the Blue Devils set a Karsten Creek course record with a 12-under 276 in the third round of stroke-play qualifying, they continue to have success here in Stillwater this week.

The Blue Devils got two points from Alex Smalley (def. Scottie Scheffler, 5 and 4) and Adrien Pendaries (def. Drew Jones, 4 and 3), while Texas recorded two points from Spencer Soosman (def. Chandler Eaton, 4 and 3) and Steven Chervony (def. Evan Katz, 3 and 2).

That left the final pairing, a match against a couple of seniors, Duke’s Jake Shuman and Texas’ Doug Ghim, as the deciding point. Shuman, ranked No. 130, had Ghim on the ropes all day. Ghim, who had won the Big 12 Conference title and NCAA Raleigh Regional and finished third in stroke play at nationals, trailed by as many as 3 down on the front nine, but rallied to square the match on the 16th hole.

Shuman would reach the par-5 18th in two shots while Ghim was just in front in three. After Ghim’s attempt for birdie rolled by the hole, Shuman needed only two putts from 20 feet for the win.

He would do better than that, rolling in the eagle putt to clinch a 1-up triumph and secure the winning point for Duke.

“I was trying to two-putt,” Shuman said. “Just hit it solid.”

For Texas, the season ends, and the careers of Ghim and Scheffler come to a close as well.

“It stings like no other and that’s the way it ought to be,” said Texas coach John Fields.

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