FRANKLIN, TENN. -- In one of the most remarkable comebacks in school history, the top-ranked Duke women's golf team came back from 12 strokes down after the first round to win by one stroke on Sunday against defending national champion UCLA at the Mason Rudolph Women's Championship played at the Vanderbilt Legends Club on the 7,200-yard, Par 72 Ironhorse Course in Franklin, Tenn.
'This wasn't the biggest comeback we have had since I have been at Duke, but this is the best in terms of the quality of teams that we were playing against,' said Brooks. 'This is exciting in so many ways as everyone contributed to this tournament win--from Jennifer Pandolfi's second round score of 73 to both Liz Janangelo and Brittany Lang coming back from shooting in the 80s. Each of the golfers shined when they needed to.'
Duke fired a round of 289 on Sunday to pick up its second win of the season in as many tournaments played. After a disappointing first round score of 301, the Blue Devils came back on the second day to shoot a tournament-best, 288, and trailed UCLA by seven strokes with 18 holes remaining. On the final day, the five Duke golfers came through when they needed it the most and won their 24th tournament out of the last 29 played.
In the team standings, Duke finished with an 873 with UCLA (874), Georgia (876), Missouri (882), North Carolina State (891), Texas (892), Louisiana State (893), Tulane (897), Florida (897), Wake Forest (900) and Vanderbilt (900) rounding out the top 10.
For the second day in a row, junior Liz Janangelo led the Blue Devils with an under-par round as the West Hartford, Conn., product fired a 71. She finished the weekend tied for 10th with a 218, two-over-par.
'We are really coming together as a team and we are a lot more emotional as a group this year,' said Janangelo. 'We won a lot of tournaments last year by big numbers and you don't learn from those victories as much as you learn from a win like this one. In this tournament, no one person dominated as we did this as a team.'
After carding her worst collegiate round on Saturday with an 80, sophomore Brittany Lang responded with an under-par round of her own with a 71 as she notched five birdies. She finished tied for 20th with a 222, six-over-par. Fellow sophomore Anna Grzebien registered a 74 on day three and finished with a five-over-par score of 221, which was tied for 16th.
'This win feels very good,' said Lang. 'Everyone played well when we needed it and to come back and win like we did gives us a lot of confidence.'
Continuing her consistent play, senior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh notched her second straight round of 73 on Sunday to finish tied for 20th with a 222, while freshman Jennifer Pandolfi had a 77 on the final day to place tied for 45th, 227.
'It makes this victory feel so much better that we had to fight so hard,' said Aazam-Zanganeh. 'We treated this like a national championship as there were many of the teams that we will have to beat to win in this event. We were not down after the first day, as we knew we could do it. We didn't get sad, as we got mad in a good way. It was good because we always knew that we could come back.'
Duke will next travel down Tobacco Road to play in the Tar Heel Invitational on Oct. 8-10 in Chapel, N.C. This will be the only opportunity for local fans to come out and see the top-ranked Blue Devils in action. The tournament will be played at Finley Golf Course.
'This is a great win as this shows our chemistry is good and that is what means the most,' said Brooks. 'I see the chemistry in them time and time again and it proves itself with this victory.'
1 Duke University 301 283 289 873 +9
2 UCLA 289 288 297 874 +10
3 Georgia, U. of 292 289 295 876 +12
4 Missouri, U. of 300 291 291 882 +18
5 North Carolina State 299 304 288 891 +27
6 Texas, Univ. of 291 298 303 892 +28
7 Louisiana State U. 296 300 297 893 +29
8 Tulane University 301 295 301 897 +33
Florida, U. of 304 298 295 897 +33
10 Wake Forest Univ. 303 293 304 900 +36
Vanderbilt Univ. 303 301 296 900 +36
12 Furman University 298 300 304 902 +38
Arizona, U. of 295 305 302 902 +38
14 Virginia, Univ. of 299 298 308 905 +41
15 Oklahoma, U. of 305 299 305 909 +45
16 Southern Methodist 305 301 304 910 +46
17 South Carolina, U of 312 310 302 924 +60
North Carolina, U of 320 305 299 924 +60