Duke Claims Title at 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship park
The Duke University women's golfers entered Tuesday's final round of the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship trailing defending champion Southern California, but a strong final round lifted the Blue Devils to the title. Second-ranked Lindy Duncan led the charge with a 3-under 69, while Courtney Ellenbogen and Laetitia Beck each finished even and Stacey Kim carded a 3-over 75. USC, meanwhile, turned in its highest round with an 8-over 296 and dropped from first to a third place finish behind Colorado at English Turn Golf & Country Club.
"I couldn't be more happy," Duke head coach Dan Brooks said. "It's been a long time. We've been through a period where we didn't have any wins. The passion was maybe down a little bit from last year. It seems like it has picked up in the spring and everybody realizes how special it is to be on a team that's got the talent to do this kind of thing. Maybe it took a win for us to pull together and start talking about it a little bit more.
"I felt like right from start to finish that we played smart golf. This course demands that – small greens, wind blowing, we're on Bermuda greens and we're not used to that. We've been on fast, mid-grass greens. There were so many challenges to this and they just had to stay real tough. It seems like we did that right until the end. Today, we did it probably better than we did it the two other days, even though we were back."
Individually, Colorado's Alex Stewart fired the lowest round of the day with a 5-under 67 to overtake second round leader, Cassy Isagawa of Oregon, by one stroke. Isagawa entered the day at 8-under, but carded a 4-over 76 on Tuesday.
"My round was pretty solid today," Stewart said. "On the front nine, I shot a 1-under. On the back nine, I made a birdie on 11 and 12 and that was the turning point because I made a 35-foot putt for birdie and just kind of caught fire with my putter and had all one-putts except for my last two holes.
"This was my first collegiate win, so that was good. I'll take this all in, use if for confidence and know that I can compete out there. This tournament was pretty cool. I love New Orleans and I love the beignets. Those are good. I really like the course. It sets up really nicely for my game. The weather was okay the first two days. It's just a really nice tournament."
The Tulane golfers saved their finest performance of the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship for the final round with a combined 4-over 292 total and leaped from 10th to a sixth-place finish.
The Green Wave, which entered the event ranked 44th nationally, posted the fourth lowest round of the day and finished higher than four Top-25 teams, including No. 3 Auburn, No. 11 Texas A&M, No. 18 Florida and No. 20 Oregon, and was also ahead of No. 30 Tulsa, No. 33 Florida State and No. 37 Ole Miss.
"This tournament is the fourth best tournament in women's golf this spring and to have the Allstate Sugar Bowl behind this event is super," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "You can't ask for a better sponsor. The Allstate Sugar Bowl has a great president in Jack Laborde and a great committee. I would like to thank the organization for their assistance and passion in making this a great event. Along with the national championship, we hope to make this the best spring event in women's golf every year."
After getting out to great starts but flaming out at the end of the first two rounds, the Wave played well Tuesday from wire-to-wire. In fact, Tulane and Alabama both moved up four spots and produced the biggest jumps on the team leaderboard on Sunday.
"We definitely finished the round off today," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "Everybody came out today prepared to play. The pins were extremely tough today and it was by far the hardest round of the week and for us to have our best round of the week on the last day is great.
"The girls played great all week, we just had a couple holes at the end of each round that we didn't quite finish off, but I'm proud of them, especially proud of the seniors. Samantha, Ashley and Stephanie, came out and had a great final round in their final Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship appearance."
Dryburgh, junior Maribel Lopez Porras and senior Ashley McKenney each turned in a 2-over 74, while senior Stephanie Wagstaff, the team's first round leader, posted a 4-over 76 during today's final round. The group was 2-over at the turn and was a model of consistency with a 2-over score during the final nine holes.
Porras earned a 30th place finish, while McKenney was 40th and Wagstaff was 64th.
The 2012 Classic included a Saturday youth clinic which was very successful. For video highlights of the clinic, follow this link.
1. Duke (13-over), 2. Colorado (16-over), 3. USC (17-over), 4. Alabama (20-over), 5. Baylor (23-over), 6. Tulane (29-over), 7. Texas A&M (32-over), T8. Auburn (33-over), T8. Oregon (33-over), 10. Florida (34-over), 11. Tulsa (45-over), 12. Florida State (46-over), 13. Kennesaw State (53-over), 14. East Carolina (58-over), 15. Ole Miss (59-over)
Individual Results (Top-10 Only):
1. Alex Stewart, Colorado (-5), 2. Cassy Isagawa, Oregon (-4), 3. Lisa McCloskey, USC (-3), T4. Lindy Duncan, Duke (-1), T4. Jennifer Kirby, Alabama (-1), T4. Malin Jansson, Florida State (-1), 7. Doris Chen, USC (1-over), 8. Marta Sanz, Auburn (2-over), T9. Laetitia Beck, Duke (3-over), T9. Chelsey Cothran, Baylor (3-over)