GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Duke University freshman Brittany Lang picked up her first collegiate victory on Tuesday and the top-ranked Blue Devils dominated the field at the SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational winning by 33 strokes at the Par 70, 5,773-yard University of Florida Golf Club.
Duke finished the tournament with a 290 on Tuesday and posted a three-day total of 878. Ohio State (911), Michigan State (914), Florida (919), Auburn (919), Oklahoma State (922), Tennessee (922), Vanderbilt (932), South Florida (945) and Purdue (947) rounded out the top 10.
'It was really, really tough golf,' said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. 'You had to be really patient. A lot of times you hit your shot to the green and you don't know where it was because it was an elevated green. Before you can get over the horizon, the ball was off the green. It happened hole after hole after hole. It can be very frustrating, but I didn't see any frustration in my team. Afterwards, I heard them talking about how difficult it was but not how they were being ripped off.'
Lang, a product of McKinney, Texas, battled the tough greens to finish with a one-over-par 71 on Tuesday, which gave her a three-day total of 216 and was one stroke ahead of teammate Liz Janangelo (217). Prior to the victory today, Lang had registered three top-five and four top-10 finishes on the year and had a 72.43 stroke average.
'The victory feels great,' said Lang. 'The key this weekend with my game was staying patient as the greens were very tricky and the wind was blowing all three days. During those kind of conditions, you have to play aggressive but pay attention around the greens.'
To show the toughness of the course, Lang won the tournament only making three birdies on during the three days.
Janangelo had the only even par round of the day as she collected a 70 to finish in second place (217), which marks the second straight tournament she has finished second. Fellow freshman Anna Grzebien had her third top-five finish of the year as she was third with a 218, after notching a 73 on the final day.
'I cannot say enough about our two freshmen (Lang and Grzebien),' said Brooks. 'It was not easy golf and their performance was tremendous. Those two seem like they are veterans and have been very impressive all year long.'
Duke senior Virada Nirapathpongporn finished tied for 10th (227) and senior Leigh Anne Hardin was tied for 35th (236). Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh, a junior from Lausanne, Switzerland, played as an individual and finished tied for 40th (237).
The 33-stroke victory is the second-largest of the season and marks the fourth time Duke has won by 23 or more strokes - Lady Puerto Rico Classic by 23 strokes, ACC/SEC Challenge won by 32 strokes, Tar Heel Invitational won by a school-record 49 strokes.
Duke will next travel to the Liz Murphey Collegiate on March 26-28 in Athens, Ga.