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BRADENTON, Fla. – The second-seeded Duke women’s golf team made a great run at the 2015 NCAA Championship, but the Blue Devils came up just short in the semifinals against third-seeded Baylor, 3-2, in match play at the 6,468-yard, par 72 Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a great start on the afternoon and led all five matches at one point on the front nine, but midway through Baylor started to gain momentum and cut the Duke lead to 2-2-1.
Duke got on the board first as sophomore Sandy Choi dominated her match against Giovana Maymon going 4-up through five holes and clinching a 6&5 win on hole 13 with a birdie. Choi, who is from Seoul, South Korea, hit nine greens and 10 fairways over 13 holes to help lead her to victory.
Junior Celine Boutier also never trailed in her match against Kimmy Hill collecting a 3&2 win, after totaling a par on the 16th hole. A native of Montrouge, France, Boutier was 3-up through seven holes, but fell back to 1-up following No. 12. Boutier responded by winning the next three holes.
Around the same time as Boutier finished, Gurbani Singh dropped a 2&1 decision to Laura Lonardi. Singh, who is from New Delhi, India, led four different times on the front nine, but a birdie by Lonardi on No. 8 and a bogey by Singh on No. 9 gave Lonardi the lead for good. Singh cut the lead to 1-down with two holes left but she dropped the 17th hole to close the match 2&1.
With Duke leading 2-1, it came down to the freshman set of twins, Leona and Lisa Maguire. Leona Maguire led for four straight holes on the front nine against Dylan Kim, but went on to lose two consecutive holes to drop back to all square through eight holes. The match stayed that way until Leona Maguire drained a birdie on the par five 13th. Kim came back to birdie the next hole to get the match back to all square. A birdie by Kim on No. 17 gave her a 1-up advantage and Maguire’s birdie putt on No. 18 came up just short to give Kim a 1-up victory.
Lisa Maguire trailed early, but mounted a comeback winning holes five, seven and eight to take a 2-up lead versus Lauren Whyte. The match went back to all square through 12 holes and then Maguire went 2-down with two holes remaining. Maguire made a great comeback netting a par on No. 17 and par on No. 18 to win both holes and send to extras.
On both holes No. 12 and No. 13, Maguire featured birdie putts from about 12 feet to clinch the win for the Blue Devils but they just missed. Maguire had a great up-and-down from the bunker on the 23rd hole to save par and extend the match. On their 24th hole, Maguire hit her drive next to the water and ended up totaling a double-bogey, while Whyte three-putted for bogey to clinch the victory for her and her teammates.
Duke featured an outstanding season winning three tournaments under head coach Dan Brooks. The Blue Devils will return all five starters from the NCAA Championship in 2015-16.
Duke Takes Down Texas Tech, 4-1, Advances to NCAA Semifinals
BRADENTON, Fla. – After falling behind 4-1 early against seventh-seeded Texas Tech Tuesday morning, the second-seeded Duke women’s golf team rallied to win, 4-1, on its way to advancing to the NCAA Championship semifinals of match play, which will take place Tuesday, May 26 beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The Golf Channel will feature pre-game coverage from 3-3:30 p.m., followed by live coverage from 3:30-7:00 p.m. There will be post round coverage from 7-8 p.m., as well.
Baylor advanced to the semifinals, after taking down sixth-seeded Tennessee, 3-1, in the morning. The upcoming contest will be a rematch from earlier this season when the Blue Devils defeated the Lady Bears, 3-2, in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
The pairings for the afternoon match will be Duke’s Lisa Maguire versus Lauren Whyte, Sandy Choi against Giovana Maymon, Gurbani Singh versus Laura Lonardi, Leona Maguire against Dylan Kim and Celine Boutier versus Hayley Davis.
In the morning, the Blue Devils trailed in four of the five matches early, but started to mount a comeback as Duke got ready to make the turn.
Just about the same time, twins Lisa and Leona Maguire finished the morning matches. Leona Maguire totaled a 5&4 win over Gabby Barker and Lisa Maguire dropped a 3&2 decision to Sarah Brown.
With the match all square at 1-1, Singh registered a 3&2 win over Lauren Mason to put the Blue Devils ahead 2-1. Singh was 1-down through six holes, but won holes seven, eight and nine to take a 2-up lead. She rolled in a birdie on No. 16 to close out the victory.
Boutier, who is from Montrouge, France, was 1-down through three holes, but was able to win the fourth hole to get the match to all square against Kimmy Hill. The former Duke National Player of the Year then won holes six and seven to go 2-up. Boutier never looked back closing out the match on hole 16 with a par to win 3&2 and clinch the victory for Duke.
“I feel like I stayed really patient all day,” said Boutier. “I started with a mistake on number two, but I just managed to stay focused and play my own game. And I ended up playing better and better throughout the rounds.”
Choi, a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea, trailed by as many as 2-down through seven holes to Stephanie Bertelsen, but battled back on the back nine. By winning holes 13, 14 and 15, Choi went ahead 2-up and closed the win on No. 17 with a birdie earning a 2&1 win.
“I mean it’s definitely hotter and more humid down here, but we were prepared,” commented Boutier on the Florida heat. “We knew that in Florida at the end of May it was going to be super hot. So we prepared ourselves mentally and we stayed hydrated and have been drinking plenty of water throughout the day.