CLEMMONS, N.C. -- For the third straight year, the top-ranked Duke women's golf team won the NCAA East Regional on Saturday with an eight-stroke victory at the Par 71, 6,116-Yard Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons, N.C. The Blue Devils fired a 1-under-par round of 283 on Saturday and advance to the NCAA Championship for the sixth consecutive year.
The Blue Devils finished with an 857 with Georgia (865), Vanderbilt (865), Auburn (867), Arizona (874), North Carolina (882), South Carolina (884) and Florida State (889) rounding out the eight teams who advance to the NCAA Championship. The three-day total of 857 is the best finish for the Blue Devils all season long and is three shy of a school record (854).
Duke continued to get steady play from the entire team as all five Blue Devils finished in the top 18 of the individual rankings. Leading the way is the reigning NCAA Individual Champion, Virada Nirapathpongporn, who finished tied fifth with a three-day total of 212. The Bangkok, Thailand native finished off the weekend with an even-par 71.
Junior Leigh Anne Hardin and freshman Liz Janangelo each finished tied 14th individually on Saturday with a 217. Hardin carded a 72 on the final day, but was 2-under-par at one time before losing two strokes on the back nine. Janangelo turned in a 74 in the final 18 holes after being 4-over-par through 11 holes today. The West Hartford, Conn., native rebounded with two birdies in her final six holes for her sixth top-20 finish this season.
Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh, a product of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Kristina Engstrom, from Djursholm, Sweden, each collected Duke's best rounds of the day with a 1-under-par round of 70. Aazam-Zanganeh finished tied 16th overall with a 218, while Engstrom was tied 18th with a 219.
Duke will be vying for its third NCAA Championship in the last five years at the Kampen Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ind. from May 20-23.