Ireland’s Leona Maguire went under par again on Sunday at the ACC Championship as the top-seeded Blue Devils increased their lead to 17 strokes through 36 holes at the 6,122-yard, par 72 Grandover Resort & Conference Center East Course in Greensboro, N.C.
Leona Maguire / Image from Cashman Photography
Maguire’s Duke University teammate, Jaravee Boonchant, matched the ACC Championship course record with a five-under, 67, while Maguire and Virginia Elena Carta each signed for a two-under-par, 70. Maguire, who is a two-time ACC Champion (2015 & 2017) continues to lead the individual action with a seven-under-par, 137, after totaling rounds of 67 and 70. She leads by one stroke over Boonchant, who has notched scores of 71 and 67 for a six-under, 138.
Maguire had the best start Sunday for the Blue Devils as she parred the first hole, before rolling in a two-foot birdie on No. 2 and hitting her approach to within inches on hole No. 3 to move to two-under. She registered seven straight pars, before suffering only her second bogey over 36 holes of the 2018 ACC Championship. Maguire quickly responded with a birdie on the 114-yard, par three 12th. She closed the day with six consecutive pars, including a sand save for par on No. 14 and an up-and-down par on No. 15. Maguire hit 15 greens, had nine fairways and rolled 31 putts on the day as she carded her 82nd career round of even or under par.
“I got off to a really nice start – birdied two out of my first three holes,” said Maguire. “That was really nice to get off to a quick start like that. I played really well on the front nine and had a lot of chances, just didn’t really hole any putts. On the back nine, maybe I didn’t play quite as well, but made some good pars coming in and sort of hung in there.”
“I think the team is doing a great job,” she added. “Obviously, you always want to be in the lead and by as many as possible. So Monday I will try to go as low as I can to help the team and we will see what happens with the individual. Hopefully we can secure that team title as well.”
If Maguire can hold on to the ACC Championship lead and win individually, she would be only the second golfer to win the ACC individual title three times joining former Duke standout Amanda Blumenherst.
Senior Lisa Maguire was held without a birdie over the 18 holes on Sunday as she returned in a four-over, 76 . She was three-over on the front nine and played the final nine holes at one-over, including even-par on the final seven holes. She is tied 28th over the first two days with a six-over, 150.
“We have handled the elements really well,” said Dan Brooks. “The wind kicked up toward the end there as we were coming in on the last hole, but it didn’t seem to bother anybody. They were hitting it right at the green. We had some great golf coming in. I was really proud of the team for sort of learning about the course a little bit more. That front side is very interesting. It probably takes four or five rounds to really feel like you can play it best. I think we learned a lot.”
Duke turned in an ACC Championship Grandover Resort course record for the second straight day carding a seven-under, 281, and is now 13-under-par for the two days of action. The Blue Devils have turned in a 563 and leads Florida State (580), Clemson (583), Wake Forest (590) and North Carolina (594).
“What I like is we came out playing well the first day,” said Brooks on the team play. “We have been a little bit slow to get started in a couple of tournaments. It was great that we got a good start and then we followed it up. We just have to stay aggressive and try to get a few more shots. We have to be the best we can be.”
Looking for its second straight and 21st ACC Championship, Duke will kick off action in the final round Monday, April 23 at 8:50 a.m. The Blue Devils have won each of the three ACC Championships that have been contested at Grandover (1999, 1998 and 1996).
1 1 Duke 282 281 563 -13
3 2 Florida State 291 289 580 +4
2 3 Clemson 286 297 583 +7
5 4 Wake Forest 297 293 590 +14
11 5 North Carolina 306 288 594 +18
8 6 Virginia 301 294 595 +19
T6 7 Virginia Tech 300 298 598 +22
4 8 Miami 296 303 599 +23
9 T9 Louisville 302 300 602 +26
10 T9 North Carolina State 303 299 602 +26
T6 11 Notre Dame 300 304 604 +28
12 12 Boston College 313 300 613 +37