TEMPE, Ariz. – Against one of the top fields in the nation, the third-ranked Duke women’s golf team opened the PING/ASU Invitational on Friday with a season-best eight-under-par, 280, and is one shot off the lead with 36 holes remaining at the 6,223-yard, Par 72 Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz.
The Blue Devils opened their day on hole No. 10 and got off to a good start with a one-under-par ledger through nine holes. Duke closed with 11 birdies over the final nine holes to post its best 18-hole score of the season with a 280. As a team, the Blue Devils registered 18 birdies on the day, which tied a season-best.
UCLA totaled a nine-under-par, 279, and leads the tournament by one stroke, while Duke (280), Southern California (283), Alabama (284), Texas (286), Texas A&M (287), UC Davis (287), Arizona (288), Stanford (289), South Carolina (291) and Arizona State (291) rounded out the top 10.
On the individual leaderboard, Duke junior Laetitia Beck turned in a season-best five-under-par and is tied for the lead after day one. A product of Caesarea, Israel, Beck collected a season-high six birdies and a season-low 25 putts, while hitting 12 greens and eight fairways on the day. She opened with a two-under-par, 35, on the first nine and reached six-under-par through 17 holes of action. Beck suffered a bogey on her final hole to finish with a five-under-par score. She posted birdies on No. 3, No. 5, No. 6, No. 8, No. 12 and No. 17.
Holding the individual lead along with Beck is Washington’s Jennifer Yang (67).
Senior Lindy Duncan and freshman Celine Boutier also fired under-par rounds on Friday to help lead the Blue Devils. Duncan, who is out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., opened the day with six straight pars before sinking her first birdie of the morning on the 153-yard, par three 16th. She made the turn with an even-par, 37, after suffering her only bogey of the day on No. 18. Duncan totaled three birdies on the final nine on No. 3, No. 5 and No. 7 to close the day with a three-under-par, 69. Her round of 69 was the best since the season-opening Cougar Classic. On the day, Duncan notched 27 putts, hit 13 greens and 10 fairways. She is tied for eighth overall, individually.
Boutier registered her sixth even or under-par round of the season on Friday as she turned in a one-under-par-70 and is tied for 18th. A native of Montrouge, France, Boutier kicked off her day with a birdie on the 478-yard, par five 10th, but suffered back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes to fall to one-over-par as she made the turn. Boutier responded with two straight birdies on No. 1 and No. 2 to get back to one-under-par through 12 holes. She went to two-under after a birdie on No. 7, but had a bogey on No. 8 on her way to closing with a 71.
Alejandra Cangrejo registered a one-over-par, 73, on day one and is tied for 35th overall. A product of Bogota, Colombia, Cangrejo held a one-under-par score through 15 holes but a double-bogey on the 155-yard, par three 16th and finished with a 73. She hit 15 greens, seven fairways and had 33 putts on the day.
Playing in just her second tournament of the season, senior Courtney Ellenbogen turned in a three-over-par, 75, on Friday and is tied for 48th. Ellenbogen, who is out of Blacksburg, Va., started solid with birdies on No. 13 and No. 15 to move to two-under-par. She suffered back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to make the turn at even par. Ellenbogen had three bogies on the back nine to finish with a 75.
Duke will tee off in the second round starting at 12:20 p.m. (ET), along with Southern California and UCLA on Saturday.
For live results, visit www.golfstat.com.
Team Results 1 11 UCLA -9 F -9 279 2 2 Duke -8 F -8 280 3 1 Southern California -5 F -5 283 4 3 Alabama -4 F -4 284 5 21 Texas -2 F -2 286 T6 25 Texas A&M -1 F -1 287 T6 16 UC Davis -1 F -1 287 8 7 Arizona E F E 288 9 15 Stanford +1 F +1 289 T10 44 South Carolina +3 F +3 291 T10 14 Arizona State +3 F +3 291 T12 TCU +4 F +4 292 T12 9 Washington +4 F +4 292 14 Colorado +10 F +10 298 15 37 UNLV +17 F +17 305 16 36 Oregon +23 F +23 311 17 40 California +25 F +25 313