SAN JUAN PUERTO, RICO - On Tuesday afternoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the top-ranked Duke women's golf team concluded the first tournament of the spring at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic the exact way the Blue Devils finished off the fall season- in dominating fashion.
The Blue Devils posted a three-day total of 862 and won their sixth straight tournament by 23 strokes over Georgia (885), Oklahoma (888), Southern California (893), Tulsa (896), Wake Forest (900), Auburn (913), Florida (918), Michigan (923), Tulane (925), Texas (927), Missouri (936), Kent State (948), Purdue (959) and Penn State (967).
As a team, Duke has now won five stroke-play tournaments this season by a total of 109 strokes.
'I couldn't be more proud of this team,' said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. 'We came out of a pretty bad winter, which kept us off the course a lot, and as a coach I couldn't be happier. This shows how mentally tough and mature this team is.'
Freshman Anna Grzebien had the best round of the day for the Blue Devils collecting a four-under-par 68 to close out the tournament with a three-day total of 862, which was tied for 13th. Grzebien, a product of Narragansett, R.I., registered five birdies and only one bogey in her final round. Her round of 68 on Tuesday tied a career best for Grzebien.
'Today my round was really consistent as I just had one bogey on hole 17, but besides that I was hitting a lot of fairways and greens,' said Grzebien. 'I just wanted to do something to help my team out because the first round I didn't do to much. I was able to get the greens down a little better so I dropped a few more putts.'
Sophomore Liz Janangelo turned in a 73 on the final day and finished the tournament with a total of 215, which placed second in the individual competition. Senior Virada Nirapathpongporn finished tied for third (216) after posting a 72 on Tuesday. Janangelo had her fifth top-five finish of the year, while Nirapathpongporn had her fourth of the year.
Brittany Lang, a freshman from McKinney, Texas, had her second straight 71 today and finished tied for fifth with a 217.
'I am very happy with Anna Grzebien's play with her 68,' said Brooks. 'These rounds by our freshmen shows that what we saw in the fall was for real. Both Brittany [Lang] and Anna are ready to do it when it matters.'
Junior Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh finished tied for 20th with rounds of 72-76-76=224 in her first tournament since being sidelined for the entire fall season with a hip injury. Playing as an individual, senior Leigh Anne Hardin fired a 73 on Tuesday and finished tied for ninth overall with a 221.
Duke will next travel to Gainesville, Fla., on Mar. 7-9 for the Sun Trust Invitational.
1 Duke University 285 293 284 862
2 Georgia, U. of 292 299 294 885
3 Oklahoma, U. of 293 296 299 888
4 Southern California 297 297 299 893
5 Tulsa, University of 304 296 296 896
6 Wake Forest Univ. 312 293 295 900
7 Auburn University 310 297 306 913
8 Florida, U. of 310 305 303 918
9 Michigan, U. of 315 307 301 923
10 Tulane University 301 310 314 925
11 Texas, Univ. of 314 310 303 927
12 Missouri, U. of 317 311 308 936
13 Kent State 313 321 314 948
14 Purdue University 321 314 324 959
15 Penn State Univ. 324 322 321 967