With head coach Dan Brooks, who enters his 31st season leading the Blue Devils program, Duke has work to do in earning another title as Stanford, Southern California, UCLA, Arizona, Washington, and Arkansas sit ahead of the Blue Devils, along with Arizona State, Alabama and South Carolina who are not far behind in rounding out the publication’s top-10.
The Blue Devils return two starters off its 2014 NCAA Championship squad, including WGCA and Golfweek National Player of the Year Celine Boutier, who is playing this week in the LPGA Evian Championship on a sponsor exemption.
It is the second major championship that the Montrouge, France native is playing in dating back to June when she played in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.
Last Spring, Boutier totaled a 71.50 stroke average, three victories, six top five finishes and seven top-10 placements to help lead Duke to its sixth national title.
She was the hottest collegiate golfer in the nation at the time, posting three wins and a 70.77 stroke average in seven tournaments and a 616-37 head-to-head record.
The Blue Devils’ other returning starter is Sandy Choi, who carded a 73.38 stroke average over the final five tournaments in the Spring season, and posted two top-10 finishes during that time.
On the season, Choi carded a 73.71 stroke average and placed tied 23rd at the NCAA Championship.
The remainder of Duke’s roster will be rounded out by senior Irene Jung and junior Yi Xiao, as well as three standout recruits – Leona Maguire, Lisa Maguire and Gurbani Singh – who will all vie for starting positions throughout the year.
Along with Boutier (France), Singh (India) participated in the recent 2014 World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) that took place in Karuizawa, Japan.
Duke opens its Fall 2014 season Sept. 14-16 at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C.
Golfweek Preseason Top 25 (Sept. 9)
- Arizona State
- South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- Central Florida
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- N.C. State