HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Duke women’s golf junior Phoebe Brinker opened the 2023 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Monday with a 1-over-par, 73, to pace the Blue Devils at the 6,220-yard, Par-71 Long Cove Club.
How It Happened
• Duke jumped out to a solid start to the round and led the field with a 2-under-par score mid-way through the opening nine holes.
• The Blue Devils hit a tough stretch to close the front nine as Duke was 6-over-par on the 158-yard, par-3 eighth hole to drop back in the standings.
• Junior Phoebe Brinker led the Blue Devils on the day with a 1-over-par, 72. After parring the first five holes, she had a bogey on No. 6. Brinker then collected her first birdie of the day as she hit her 9-iron from 135 yards to five feet and rolled in the putt on No. 7. After a bogey on No. 8, she had six consecutive pars. Brinker hit the green in two on No. 15 and two-putted for birdie to get back to even. She closed the day with two pars and a bogey to finish with a 72.
• After parring the first four holes to start her morning, senior Erica Shepherd drained a 14-footer for birdie on the 317-yard, par-4 fifth hole to get to 1-under. She registered a par on the next hole and then played the final 12 holes at 5-over-par to close the day with a 75. Shepherd hit 12 fairways, 12 greens and had 34 putts on the day.
• Sophomore Rylie Heflin carded a 5-over-par, 76, to open the tournament. She started with a 2-over score through five holes, before hitting her 54-degree wedge to six feet for birdie on No. 6. Heflin would go on to make the turn with a 3-over, 39. She had six straight pars to start the back nine, which included an up-and-down par save on No. 11. Heflin also had another key up-and-down par save on No. 18, before closing with a 76. Heflin hit 12 fairways, 11 greens and had 31 putts.
• Freshman Andie Smith collected a team-best four birdies on the day as she shot a 77. She had Duke’s best start of the morning as she birdied both par fives over the first six holes. Smith drained a 20-footer on No. 3 and 15-footer on No. 6. She went on a tough stretch where she dropped six shots over a span of five holes. Smith connected on a 13-footer for birdie on No. 13 and chipped in for birdie on No. 18 to close the day….
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