Date: May 11, 2009

Whitaker helps Blue Devils qualify

For the 12th straight year, the Duke Women&aposs golf team will be heading to the NCAA Championship as the Blue Devils carded a final round 10-over-par, 290, and finished tied for sixth at the NCAA East Regional with a 54-hole total of 881 at the 6,044-yard, par 70 Mark Bostick Golf Course at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Duke was in a tight battle all morning for one of the top eight positions, but pulled away late to finish in a tie for sixth along with North Carolina. Golf Australia National Squad member Alison Whitaker opened the first three holes with three consecutive bogeys before playing spectacular golf the final 16 holes. A product of Melbourne, Australia, Whitaker went on to register 13 straight pars before sinking a four-foot birdie putt on No. 17. The two-time All-ACC selection also had a par on No. 18 to close with a 72. For the weekend, Whitaker tied for 34th with a 222. Whitaker hit 13 greens, nine fairways and 32 putts, while notching 4-of-5 up-and-down attempts. She hit every green on the back nine. The group of Amanda Blumenherst, Jennie Lee, Kim Donovan and Whitaker played the final nine holes on Saturday at a combined two-over-par with five birdies. The NCAA Championship will take place from May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Duke has won five NCAA Championships — 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Blue Devils have finished in the top three the past five straight years.