CLEMMONS, N.C.-- After one round of action at the NCAA East Regional, the top-ranked Duke women's golf team leads by two strokes after turning in a 4-over-par round of 288 on Thursday at the Par 71, 6,116-Yard Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons, N.C.
The Blue Devils lead ACC foe Florida State after the Seminoles turned in a round of 290 followed by Georgia (294), Vanderbilt (295), Auburn (298) and East Carolina (300).
'I am fine with 4-over-par,' said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. 'Our perspective is to win the tournament and we are going to keep trying to do that. We had a couple of things that weren't great today and feel like the team is hungry for perfection.'
Leading the way for the Blue Devils were junior Leigh Anne Hardin and freshman Liz Janangelo, who each collected rounds of even-par 71. Hardin, a Martinsville, Ind., product netted three birdies on the day to go along with three bogies and is poised to contend over the weekend for medalist honors, which she won last year. After making the turn 2-under-par, Janangelo, a West Hartford, Conn., product, had two bogies over the last nine holes to finish even par. The duo are tied sixth individually.
'Leigh Anne said she couldn't get the putts to fall,' said Brooks. 'She shot even par not putting well and that is pretty good. We are going to get that darn putter working.'
Both junior Virada Nirapathpongporn and sophomore Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh each fired rounds of 73 and sits tied 14th individually. Aazam-Zanganeh had a team-best four birdies on the morning. Senior Kristina Engstrom had a 1-over-par round going into the 15th hole before giving up five strokes over the next four holes to finish with a 77. The Djursholm, Sweden native is tied 50th in individual action.
Duke made the turn with a 1-under-par score after collecting seven birdies on the front nine, but had nine bogies and two double-bogies to close out the day. The Blue Devils will tee off beginning at 12:30 PM ET off the 10th hole on Friday with Arizona and Auburn. Duke is the two-time reigning NCAA East Regional Champions.