HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Battling very challenging pin positions on Saturday in the second round, third-ranked Duke maintained its lead at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate as the Blue Devils hold an eight-stroke lead heading into the final day of play at the 6,142-yard, par-71 Long Cove Club.
Duke carded a second-round score of 291 and holds a 36-hole ledger of 575 to lead Vanderbilt (583), South Carolina (590), North Carolina (592), LSU (593), No. 8 Oklahoma (594), No. 7 Arkansas (597), Virginia (599), No. 6 Alabama (599) and Stanford (600) rounding out the top 10.
Blue Devil sophomore Celine Boutier registered an even-par 71 on Saturday and is tied second overall only one shot off individual leader Stephanie Meadow (139) of Alabama. Boutier, who is out of Montrouge, France, owns a two-day ledger of 140 after totaling two birdies, two bogeys and 14 pars. She opened the day with birdies on No. 4 and No. 8, before closing with bogeys on No. 9 and No. 14 to finish at even par. Boutier hit 12 fairways, 12 greens and had 32 putts.
Freshman Yu Liu turned in a one-over-par 72 and is fourth with a 141. Liu, a product of Beijing, China, turned in a team-best five birdies on the day and held a two-under-par score through 12 holes. On hole 14 she suffered a double-bogey to drop back to even par and then went birdie, bogey, bogey and par to finish with a 72.
Continuing her solid play was rookie Esther Lee, who notched a two-over-par 73 and is tied 10th with a three-over-par 145. A native of Los Alamitos, Calif., Lee hit 13 greens, 10 fairways and rolled 30 putts in the second round as she notched one birdie on the 387-yard, par-four 10th hole.
Senior Laetitia Beck continued to struggle with the putter in her second round as she posted 36 putts, while carding a four-over-par 75. Beck, who is from Caesarea, Israel, is tied 26th with a 149.
Blue Devil senior Alejandra Cangrejo suffered an injured elbow on Friday in the first round and sat out Saturday’s action. She will be re-evaluated prior to Sunday.