Date: May 12, 2010

Whitaker helps Duke to NCAA Championships

FINAL ROUND VIDEO: ALISON WHITAKER For the 13th straight year, the Duke women&aposs golf team, which includes Golf Australia National Squad member Alison Whitaker, will participate in the NCAA Championship after the top-seeded Blue Devils placed tied for third at the NCAA East Regional on Saturday at the 6,325-yard, Par 72 Ironwood Golf Club in Greenville, N.C. The Blue Devils led by two strokes heading into the final round but strong wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour brought much tougher conditions to close out the regional on Saturday. “I think we played well this whole tournament — I really do,” said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks. “I don&apost feel like the first day was a disaster — it was decent. I think today was decent. The putts fell that middle day and I feel good about the whole tournament. There is a few intangible things that I feel really good about within the team.” Over the three days, Duke totaled rounds of 290, 278 and 300. The Blue Devils were the only team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to advance past the East Regional action . Registering Duke&aposs best score of the day was senior Alison Whitaker with a two-over-par, 74. She opened the round with a rough start as she bogied the second hole and had a double-bogey on No. 4 to move to three-over-par. Whitaker, who is from Melbourne, Australia, came back with a four-foot birdie putt on the fifth, but hit her drive just a little off to the right and sent her approach shot sailing over the green before suffering a bogey. Whitaker played the next 11 holes at two-under-par with birdies on No. 8 and No. 10 to move back to one-over-par. “A lot of the girls went out and struggled on the front nine and then really fought back on the back nine,” said Whitaker. “That is a testament to what can happen in things like the regionals and at nationals. A lot of shots can be made up in the last 10 holes. That is where the game is often won so bearing that in mind we have to be super patient next week at nationals.” Her two birdies during that stretch came from four feet and eight feet, respectively. On her last hole of the regional, Whitaker hit her drive left and hit a tree before settling under another tree. She had to punch out and concluded with a bogey to finish with a 74. Her total of 218 for the regional was tied for 19th. Whitaker had a total of 31 putts, hit 13 greens and 11 fairways on the day. Duke will head to the NCAA Championships on May 15 for practice rounds on May 16 and 17 before opening action on May 18 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C. The tournament will take place from May 18-21. Duke has won five NCAA Championships under Brooks — 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Duke Results T13. Lindy Duncan (Duke) 72 70 75 (217) +1 T13. Kim Donovan (Duke) 71 68 78 (217) +1 T19. Stacey Kim (Duke) 72 71 75 (218) +2 T19. Alison Whitaker (Duke) 75 69 74 (218) +2 T65. Courtney Ellenbogen (Duke) 78 73 76 (227) +11