Virginia and Duke Tied Heading into the Final Round of the 2008 ACC Women's Golf Championship
April 19, 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - No. 1 ranked Duke gained 10 strokes on Virginia in the second round to pull the Blue Devils into a tie with the Cavaliers in the team standings with identical scores of 579 heading into the final round of the 20th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Golf Championship on the Legends Course at LPGA International. The Blue Devils and the Cavaliers will tee off Sunday with No. 1 ranked Duke playing for its 13th consecutive championship and Virginia looking for its first ever ACC women's golf championship.
The final round of the 54-hole event begins at 7:30 a.m. with Duke and Virginia teeing-off beginning at 9:10 a.m.
Virginia's Calle Nielson shot a two-under par 70 in the second round and is the overall team leader with a two-day total of 140. She leads Duke's Amanda Blumenherst by one stroke. The two players will play together in the final threesome of the event. Blumenherst is the defending ACC individual champion.
"I have never led a tournament going into the last day," said Nielson. "Being a freshman, it is very interesting; I am going to ask my coach (Kim Lewellen) for advice tonight because she has been on the tour. I am really excited about being in the lead. I am hitting the ball well and putting alright - not great - but alright."
Blumenherst, who carded the lowest score of the tournament (four-under par 68) in the second round, began the second round in a tie for eighth place and four stokes out of the lead. She carded six birdies and 10 holes at par as she moved up seven places in the individual standings. Blumenherst began the round well with a 40-foot putt for birdie on the first half and went onto birdie four of the first five holes. She was as much as four-under under par during the round.
"I played really well; the putts were falling on the front side and I was real consistent on the back," said Blumenherst. "So it kind of evened out and I made a nice birdie on the last hole. "Coach (Brooks) told us to be patient and that it was just going to come. We are a great team and just had a rough day yesterday where things were not falling. Golf is definitely a game of averages and we knew that we would come back today. Coach said today was moving day and tomorrow we would just finish it. So we will be patient and consistent."
Virginia, which set a school record for a low round score in Friday's first round (284), has a two-day total of 579. The Cavaliers have finished in the top-10 in each of their eight tournaments this season and earned their best finish - third - at the Qdoba Invitational - in March.
"We are extremely excited to be in this position," said Lewellen. "With the history and tradition that Duke has - not only in the ACC but nationally - for us to be tied with them means that we are playing very well. We have to play well tomorrow and give it all we have in order to beat Duke. I feel like the girls have the heart to have a great day. We will see on the course tomorrow."