CLEMMONS, N.C. - The Duke women's golf team showcased why they are ranked No. 1 in the nation on Sunday as the Blue Devils turned in a school record round of 277 on the final day to claim their eighth consecutive ACC Championship at the Par 71, 6,358-Yard Salem Glen Country Club in Clemmons, N.C.
Duke finished the championship with a three-day total of 877 with Wake Forest (877), North Carolina (893), North Carolina (903), N.C. State (905), Florida State (909) and Maryland (939) rounding out the field. The Blue Devils won the team title by 16 strokes and will look to come back to Salem Glen for the NCAA Regionals on May 8-10.
'On the front nine I saw a lot of red numbers out there from all the teams,' said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. 'I was saying we better stay in the red or we were going to have a long day, but on the back nine there were a lot of separation. This is when I knew that we were going to bring home the title.'
North Carolina's Meaghan Francella fired her second straight round of 2-under par 69 to win the individual title by one stroke over Duke's Liz Janangelo and Wake Forest's Nuria Clau. Francella finished at 215, 2-over par. Janangelo, a freshman from West Hartford, Conn., continued her stellar play with a 3-under-par 68 and finished with a three-day total of 216.
Overall, Duke finished with four golfers in the top seven and five in the top 12 individually. Nirapathpongporn was tied fourth after turning in her second straight round of 71 and finished with a 217. Junior Leigh Anne Hardin carded a season-best 67 on Sunday to finish sixth (221), while senior Kristina Engstrom had a 71 on the final day to finish seventh (223). Sophomore Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh also recorded a 71 Sunday to place tied 12th (227).
For the day, Duke posted three scores of 71, a 67 and a 68. So the Blue Devils had to throw out an even par round of 71 on the afternoon. Overall, Duke picked up its 11th ACC Championship and 10th under the direction of Brooks. The victory for the Blue Devils is their fifth of the season and fourth out of the last five tournaments.
'This championship was very exciting as there were so many low numbers shot out there,' said Brooks. 'It feels great to get our eighth title in a row because the competition was so tight. It feels really good and I hope we can get many more.'