OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- The Duke University mens golf team fired a team-low 286 (+6) on Monday to leapfrog top-ranked Oklahoma State and Stanford to claim the 2006 Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational championship.
Senior Jake Grodzinsky rebounded from two difficult rounds on Sunday to post a team-best 69 (-1) and help the Blue Devils overcome a three-stroke deficit for their first tournament championship of the fall season.
'This ranks right up there with our ACC Championship win in 2005,' said head coach Rod Myers.
Freshman Adam Long and junior Michael Schachner continued their stellar play with each player carding a one-over 71 on Monday. Long, playing in his first collegiate tournament, placed second overall with a three-round score of two-over 212 (70-71-71). Schachner tied for third in the event after recording one-over 71s in all three rounds.
Dukes team score of 286 on Monday was the low round on the day and tied for the second best round of the tournament. The Blue Devils closed the event with a 24-over 864 to claim a six-shot victory over Stanford (870). The Cardinal, leaders after the first and second rounds, shot a 15-over 295 on Monday. Purdue (871) finished third overall followed by Northwestern (875) and Oklahoma State (876). The Cowboys, the defending national champions, fired a disappointed +20 300 in the final round.
'Anytime you can beat the No. 1 team in the country and do it on a course that has hosted numerous major championship -- that is something special,' said associate head coach Brad Sparling. 'This is a great win for our program.'
Long carded six pars, two birdies and a bogey en route to a one-under 34 on the front side at Olympia Fields Country Club. He added six straight pars on the backside before bogeying two of the final three holes to finish one shot back of Arizona States Niklas Lemke for the individual title. Lemke shot a tournament low 66 (-4) on Monday to claim the victory. Long finished the Fighting Illini Invitational tied for third in total pars (38) and birdies (7). He also tied for the tournament lead in par-3 scoring at two-under.
Schachner birdied the first hole in the final round and following a bogey on No. 3 added 14 straight pars before suffering a bogey on No. 18. The Libertyville, Ill., native closed the event tied for the tournament lead with 40 pars. He also finished tied for first in par-3 scoring at two-under and tied for second in par-5 scoring at three-under.
Grodzinsky opened with a birdie on No. 1 and played his first 11 holes at two-under in the final round. Following a bogey on the par-four 12th hole, Grodzinsky recorded birdies on No. 13 and No. 15 to get to three-under on the day. The Cornville, Ariz., native recorded a double-bogey on the par-3 16th hole but finished with a pair of pars to cap off a round of one-under (69). Grodzinsky finished the tournament tied for 28th with an 13-over 223 and was tied for second in par-5 scoring at three-under.
Junior Michael Quagliano opened with a four-over 39 on the front side on Monday, before getting back to two-over with birdies on No. 11 and No. 14. The Ardsley, N.Y., native suffered a double-bogey No. 16 and a bogey on No. 18 to finish his round at five-over (75). For the tournament, Quagliano shot an 13-over 223 to finish tied for 28th.
Sophomore Clark Klaasen struggled with a 79 in the closing round but still finished the tournament tied for 36th overall with a 16-over 226. Klaasen also finished tied for third in total pars with 38.
The Blue Devils return to action Oct. 8-9 when they host the 2006 Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic at the Duke University Golf Club.