In soft conditions, Duke stays tough to keep lead at ANNIKA Intercollegiate

In soft conditions, Duke stays tough to keep lead at ANNIKA Intercollegiate

College

In soft conditions, Duke stays tough to keep lead at ANNIKA Intercollegiate

LAKE ELMO, Minn. – Heavy rains soaked Royal Golf Club on Monday afternoon and into the night. A day later, Duke took advantage.

The Blue Devils shot 10-under 278, a shot better than Round 1, to move to 19 under and take a two-shot lead at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M.

Inclement weather, which could wipe out Wednesday’s final round, held off on Tuesday, allowing the 12-team field to complete the final holes of the first round and all of the second round. The conditions were very favorable – little wind and soft greens.

“It was very good playing conditions on a great golf course,” Duke head coach Dan Brooks said. “You give that much talent a little opening and this is what they can do.”

Blue Devils junior Ana Belac shot 7-under 65 to set the course record along with Alabama’s Jiwon Jeon. Belac, who was playing with a heavy heart after her friend Celia Barquin was killed Monday morning, now leads Alabama’s Kenzie Wright by a shot at 11 under.

“To go out and shoot 7 under par with that on your mind, I’m very proud of Ana,” Brooks said.

Duke also got a second-round 68 from sophomore Jaravee Boonchant, who is T-5 at 7 under. Senior Virginia Elena Carta, also a friend of Barquin, added an emotional 72 and is T-14 at 3 under.

The Crimson Tide, the reigning national runners-up, are second as a team after a 13-under 275 on Tuesday. UCLA, third at 16 under, also shot 275.

Alabama has been paced by Wright, a transfer from SMU, who has posted consecutive 67s so far this week. Jeon is now T-16 after shooting 77 in Round 1.

Five teams total are double-digits under par, including USC (15 under) and Texas (10 under). Defending champion Arkansas is sixth at 9 under.

Final-round tee times will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Duke, Alabama and UCLA will begin play at 9:50 a.m.

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