TULSA, OKLA. – The Duke Blue Devils women’s golf team made a comeback at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship and captured their sixth overall national title on the 6,174-yard, par 70 course at Tulsa Country Club on Friday.
Duke edged out top-ranked USC and won the championship by two strokes at the same site of the program’s first-ever national title win back in 1999.
The win added to Duke’s list of team national championship wins in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
“I have a great team”, Duke head coach Dan Brooks said after compiling his 119th coaching win and sixth NCAA title.
“They are just great in every way you want a golf team to be. They work hard, they pull for each other, and they keep things in perspective.”
The six-time WGCA Coach of the Year, Brooks oversaw a Duke team that shot a six-under 274 to claim the trophy from the Trojans on the final day of play, even as USC finished the day with a round of 10-under par 270.
The third-ranked Blue Devils completed the competition with a NCAA-record low 72-hole team score of 1,130 (293, 285, 278 and 274) for a four-day total that was good for a 10-over-par finish.
While USC (1132) finished second, the remainder of the top-10 included UCLA (1145), Oklahoma (1147), Arizona State (1150), Mississippi State (1157), Arizona (1158), Ohio State (1158), Alabama (1161), Vanderbilt (1163), Texas A&M (1163) and NC State (1163).
On the course, Celine Boutier (ACC and WGCA Player of the Year) led the winning Duke squad that included Yiu Lu (ACC Rookie of the Year), Sandy Choi, Alejandra Congrejo, and Laetitia Black.
Boutier totaled rounds of 70, 70, 67 and 69 and finished two strokes (276) behind NCAA individual champion Doris Chen from USC.
It marked Boutier’s second straight top-five finish in the NCAA championship and leaves her in a groove that she can continue along after recently qualifying to play in the upcoming 2014 U.S. Women’s Open to be played at Pinehurst.
Her second-place finish tied a season high with 17 greens in regulation during the final round as she carded four birdies on the day as well as ended her season with six top-five finishes, including three victories.
“When I was walking up the green, I looked at the leader board and I saw that we were three shots ahead,” Boutier said.
“I was on the green, so I knew just two putts would be fine, but I also knew I was one shot behind Doris Chen. I tried to make that putt and it did not go in, but then I realized we had just won the national championship and I just started crying. Everyone thought I was crying because of my 3-putt, but I was really emotional because I think this is a very special team. We have a really good team this year, and I am very happy for our seniors. They get to experience this before graduating and I am really happy for them, and for us.”