HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, FLA.-In search of its fifth straight NCAA East Regional title, the top-ranked and top-seeded Duke women's golf team leads by 16 strokes heading into the final round at the Par 72, 6,165-yard El Campeon Course in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
The Blue Devils carded a 4-over-par round of 292 on Friday and sit with a two-day total of 578. Rounding out the top-eight teams are UNLV (594), North Carolina (597), Florida (605), Oklahoma State (607), Wake Forest (607), Florida State (608) and Furman (612). The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championship on May 18-21 in Auburn, Ala.
For the second straight day, senior Leigh Anne Hardin and freshman Brittany Lang led the Blue Devils. Both golfers carded rounds of 72 and are tied for second individually with a 143, while trailing North Carolina's Meaghan Francella (140). Hardin, the 2002 NCAA East Region Champion is in search of her second tournament victory of the year, while Lang has won three tournaments during the spring.
After posting a 3-over-par round of 75 on Thursday, Duke senior Virada Nirapathpongporn fired an even-par 72, on Day 2 and is tied for 11th in the individual competition (147). A Bangkok, Thailand product, Nirapathpongporn posted four birdies on the day to lead the Blue Devils.
Sophomore Liz Janangelo, the top-ranked golfer in the nation, began the day firing a 2-under-par score through the first nine holes, but suffered two double bogeys and two bogeys on her final nine holes to finish with a 76. Overall, the West Hartford, Conn., native owns a two-day total of 148 and is tied for 13th. On Thursday, Janangelo birdied three of the four par-5s, but on Friday she suffered a double bogey and bogey on two of them.
Duke freshman Anna Grzebien was tied for seventh after day one but struggled in the second round with a 7-over-par, 79. She is tied for 22nd with a two-day total of 151.