No stopping Leona Maguire as she claims 9th win for Duke

Bernie McGuire

Leona Maguire and her Duke women’s golf team swept to both the team and individual titles at Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational Sunday in record fashion.  The Blue Devils shot the second-lowest 54-hole ledger in school history with a 31-under-par, 833, while senior Leona Maguire turned in a tournament-record 12-under-par, 204, at the 6,379-yard, par 72 Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Maguire claimed her ninth career victory and her second straight Tar Heel Invitational title with rounds of 69, 66 and 69 and she won by one stroke over Ainhoa Olarra of South Carolina (205).

“I’m really proud of both the team and my individual performance this week,” said Maguire.  “We played some true Duke golf this weekend against a very high quality field. Everyone really dug deep coming down the stretch to hold off Alabama and it gives us great confidence leading into our final event of the fall.”


Maguire opened the final round with a par, bogey and birdie, before reeling off six straight pars that included a tough up-and-down on 6.  She featured back-to-back birdies to open the back nine to get to two-under for the day.  Maguire added a sand save par on the 481-yard, par five 13th and then rolled in a birdie on 14.  Her second bogey of the day came on 15, but once again she responded with birdie on the 361-yard, par four 16th to get back to three-under.  Maguire had a par on 17 and then hit her approach on 18 into the greenside bunker.  She blasted an amazing shot to within inches and sealed the victory with the par.  Maguire finished the day with eight fairways, 12 greens and a team-best 26 putts.

Duke was in a battle for the team title with second-ranked Alabama the entire day.  Even though the Blue Devils held a 10-stroke lead heading into the final round, the Crimson Tide went low Sunday with an 18-under-par, 270.  After leading most of the day, Duke suffered five bogeys over a stretch of holes 14-16, and Alabama took a two stroke advantage.

The Blue Devils pulled it together and connected on six birdies over their final four holes to claim the title.  Trailing by one stroke late, junior Virginia Elena Carta tapped in for birdie on No. 17 and freshman Miranda Wang turned in birdies on three out of her final four holes to help push the Blue Devils to the victory.

Duke signed for rounds of 283, 271 and 279 for a 31-under-par, 833, to finish one stroke ahead of Alabama (834).  South Carolina (846), Arkansas (851), North Carolina (856), Wake Forest (862), NC State (863), Louisville (867), Virginia (868) and Vanderbilt (872) rounded out the top 10 teams.  It marked the 15th time in school history the Blue Devils have won the Tar Heel Invite.

1 2 3 Team Scores
1  1  1 Duke 283  271  279       833  -31
3  2  2 Alabama 285  279  270       834  -30
2  3  3 South Carolina 284  281  281       846  -18

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