DURHAM, N.C. – The Golfweek preseason top 25 national rankings have been released with the Duke women’s golf team slated No. 3 in the listing. The Blue Devils will open the 2012-13 campaign on Sept. 9-11 at the Cougar Classic in Hanahan, S.C.
Taking the top slot is Alabama with UCLA, Duke, USC, Arizona, Auburn, Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and North Carolina in the top 10.
Head coach Dan Brooks and the Blue Devils return all six letterwinners from a year ago, including reigning PING NGCA and Golfweek National Player of the Year, Lindy Duncan. Other returners include two-time All-ACC selection Laetitia Beck, Courtney Ellenbogen, Stacey Kim, Alejandra Cangrejo and Irene Jung. The Blue Devils welcome one of the top amateur golfers in the nation with the addition of Celine Boutier, who won the European Ladies Amateur title over the summer as well as Ashley Xiao from China.
The Blue Devils look to improve upon a successful 2012 campaign, in which they won the ACC Championship, finished tied sixth at regionals and placed 15th at the NCAA Championship.
Duncan, who is a product of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is coming off one of the best individual seasons in Duke history in 2011-12. She posted a 71.07 stroke average, four victories, 10 top 10 finishes and 10 rounds in the 60s. Duncan was named the Golfweek and NGCA National Player of the Year, Golfstat Cup winner and was a consensus first team All-America. For the third straight year, she was named the ACC Player of the Year.
The Cougar Classic will feature 10 of the top 15 teams from the 2012 NCAA Championship, including each of the top-five finishers.