SUNRIVER, ORE.-- For the second year in a row, the second-ranked Duke women's golf team won the NCAA Fall Preview as the Blue Devils fired a one-under-par, 281, on Wednesday to win by six strokes at the 6,312-yard, Par 71 The Meadows Course in Sunriver, Ore.
The Blue Devils finished with a three-day total of 858 ahead of Washington (864), while Oklahoma State (866), Arizona State (868), Auburn (869), Georgia (872), UCLA (876), New Mexico (884), Ohio State (887) and Texas (890) rounded out the top 10.
'We graduated a couple of leaders and great golfers last spring in Virada [Nirapathpongporn] and Leigh Anne [Hardin],' said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. 'But, we still have a lot of talent on this team and it is very exciting to come out and win this tournament to start the year. This team realizes that they are talented and they just feel like a really tight unit already this early in the season.'
The tournament came down to the final three holes as Duke and Washington exchanged leads throughout the day, but the Blue Devils were four-under-par over the final three holes to win the title.
'This is a great feeling winning the NCAA Preview as we were ranked third in the nation coming into this week,' said the reigning NGCA/Golfweek National Player of the Year, Liz Janangelo. 'We have a lot of potential and it showed today with how we played well in the clutch. Our team is blending well together and it shows.'
On Wednesday, the four returning letterwinners each provided excellent rounds to lead the Blue Devils to the team title. Led by sophomore Anna Grzebien, who had a team-best two-under-par 69, Duke registered four rounds of even or under par to post its second of three rounds of even or under par as a team to begin the season.
Grzebien, a native of Narragansett, R.I., had only one bogey on the day and collected three birdies to finish with a three-day total of 217, which was tied for 14th overall. She finished the week with eight birdies to rank second on the Duke squad. One of the highlights of the day was a chip-in birdie on hole 14 as she used a sand wedge to bump in run the ball in from 20 feet.
'It was a good close race and it feels good to pick up where we left off from last year, prior to nationals,' said Grzebien. 'It is a great way to come out of the gate. I played real steady all week and felt more comfortable as each day went by.'
'Anna was awesome all week,' said Brooks. 'She is a really exciting to watch because when it matters she always comes to play.'
Finishing third overall in the individual action, sophomore Brittany Lang turned in an even-par 72 on Wednesday to finish with a 209. A product of McKinney, Texas, Lang posted four birdies and four bogies on the final day of competition. In the three days, Lang totaled a tournament-best 15 birdies.
A steady player all week, junior Liz Janangelo had her best round of the three days on Wednesday firing a one-under-par, 70. Overall, she finished tied for eighth with a total of 215, which was two-over-par.
'Liz played from tee to green very well all week, but just couldn't get any putts to drop,' said Brooks. 'It just happens like that in some tournaments.'
Playing in her first collegiate golf tournament since last March, senior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh had a very stellar week posting scores of 74, 72, 71 to finish with a 217, which was tied for 14th overall. Aazam-Zanganeh, from Lausanne, Switzerland, had a very eventful front nine on Wednesday shooting a one-under-par, 34. She collected four birdies, three pars, one bogey and one double-bogey to finish with the best front nine on the Blue Devils squad.
Duke's lone freshman posted a final round 76 on day three to finish with a three-day total of 229, which ranked tied for 74th. The Navarre, Fla., native showed flashes of greatness as she registered seven birdies during the three days.
The Blue Devils will next play in the Mason Rudolph Championship from Oct. 1-3 in Nashville, Tenn.
TEAM SCORES (PAR 284/852)
1. Duke 283-294-281'858
2. Washington 285-292-287'864
3. Oklahoma State 289-291-286'866
4. Arizona State 292-287-289'868
5. Auburn 295-296-278'869
6. Georgia 286-294-292'872
7. UCLA 295-290-291'876
8. New Mexico 287-301-296'884
9. Ohio State 295-299-293'887
10. Texas 301-295-294'890
11. Tennessee 296-296-299'891
12. Stanford 300-295-299'894
12. California 298-292-304'894
14. USC 300-305-294'899
15. Arizona 294-302-306'902
15. Vanderbilt 306-303-293'902
17. South Carolina 303-302-298'903
18. Oregon State 303-301-305'909
19. Texas A&M 307-303-300'910
20. Washington State 304-310-297'911
21. Oregon 308-298-306'912