Duke’s Leona Maguire claims ACC women’s golf title

Sara D. Davis, theACC.com

Sara D. Davis, theACC.com

GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the 17th time in Duke women’s golf history, a Blue Devils golfer claimed the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Individual Championship.

Freshman Leona Maguire registered a birdie to win the title over the weekend in a playoff against Virginia senior Briana Mao at the 6,089-yard, par-72 Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

“I’ve been playing pretty solid all year,” Maguire said.

“It feels really good to get the win. To get an ACC title, it doesn’t really get much better than that.”

Maguire, a native of Cavan, Ireland, turned in a final round 70 on her way to carding a 10-under-par 206 over 54 holes.

With the tournament being shortened to two days, the teams were forced to play 27 holes Friday and Saturday.

Maguire finished the second round with a 68 and sat at 136, with a two-stroke lead over Wake Forest’s Allison Emrey (138).

In the final round, Maguire rolled in 10 straight pars and fell behind Mao on the back nine before making a birdie on No. 11 to move back into a tie.

Both golfers parred the next three holes, before sinking short birdies on the 445-yard, par five 15th.

Two more pars by each and they went to the 486-yard, par-five 18th to settle the tournament.

However, they each missed birdie putts and proceeded to a playoff.

“It is as pretty much as dramatic as it gets,” Maguire continued.

“Me and Briana had a great battle all day today.  It was tied right up to the very end. To come out on top, after such a long tournament and such tough weather conditions is just great.”

Notes: Maguire is the eighth freshman in school history to win individual honors… After taking home the ACC individual title a year ago, junior Celine Boutier placed tied 25th with rounds of 73, 74 and 74 for a five-over, 221…As a team, the defending NCAA champion-Blue Devils placed second overall with rounds of 286, 288 and 289 for a 54-hole score of one-under, 863.  Virginia shot a tournament-record 27-under-par, 837. North Carolina (866), Florida State (866), Wake Forest (866), Notre Dame (876), Louisville (884), NC State (887), Clemson (887), Miami (893) and Boston College (914) rounded out the field…. Duke will await the NCAA Regional selection show on Mon., April 27. The regional sites for 2015 are Raleigh, N.C., San Antonio, Texas, Notre Dame, Ind., and St. George, Utah.