BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. -- Looking for its eighth Bryan National Collegiate title in school history, third-ranked Duke holds a six-stroke lead heading into the final round at the 6,386-yard, par 72 Champions Course at Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center.
Duke has carded 18-hole scores of 292 and 290 for a 36-hole total of 582. Florida State (588), Ohio State (591), Louisville (593), Wake Forest (595), South Carolina (595), Michigan State (597), Penn State (597), Florida (598), Virginia (600) and NC State (600) round out the top 10 teams.
The Blue Devils had maintained the lead through most of the second round until the final six holes where Florida State slipped ahead of Duke by one stroke. The Seminoles closed the day with eight bogeys during the final three holes, while the Blue Devils were just one-over-par to close the round two.
Duke sophomore Celine Boutier led the Blue Devil charge on Saturday and enters the final round tied second overall with a 36-hole ledger of 143, which is only one shot off the individual lead. Wake Forest’s Sierra Sims posted her second straight round of 71 and leads with 18 holes left.
A native of Montrouge, France, Boutier opened her day with seven consecutive pars, before carding back-to-back birdies on No. 8 and No. 9 to move to three-under-par for the tournament. After making the turn, Boutier went bogey, birdie and bogey to drop back to one-under-par. She finished with six consecutive pars to post a 71 on the day.
Senior Laetitia Beck held a one-under-par score through 11 holes and led the individual action with a three-under-par ledger, but suffered two bogeys and a double-bogey over a four-hole stretch to drop back to two-over-par where she finished the day with a 74. A native of Caesarea, Israel, Beck is tied sixth overall with a 144. She hit 12 greens, 10 fairways and had 32 putts on the day.
Opening with one of her best starts of the season, senior Alejandra Cangrejo carded four birdies over her first 14 holes and was two-under-par. Cangrejo, who is from Bogota, Colombia, suffered three consecutive bogeys on No. 16-18 on her way to concluding the day with a 73. She is tied 27th with a 149.
Freshman Yu Liu had a slow start to her day with three bogeys over her first 13 holes before reeling off three consecutive birdies on No. 15, No. 16 and No. 17 to get back to even par. A product of Beijing, China, Liu is tied 11th overall with a 146, after hitting 14 greens, eight fairways and rolling in 33 putts. She will look to have a strong finish on Sunday to continue the impressive start to her career with five top 10 placements in five tournaments.
Also holding an under-par ledger at one point on Saturday was freshman Sandy Choi, who was one-under-par through eight holes. Choi, who is out of San Diego, Calif., had come off back-to-back birdies on No. 8 and No. 9 to move to under par. She closed the back nine with a three-over-par, 39, on her way to finishing with a 75. Choi is tied 37th overall with a 151. On the day, she tied a career best with 27 putts, while hitting 10 fairways and seven greens.
Playing as an individual, junior Irene Jung opened her day with a triple-bogey, but played the final 17 holes at only one-over-par as she finished with a 76.
Duke will open the final round at 8:30 a.m. Sunday with a shotgun start on holes 1-3 along with Florida State and Ohio State.