GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Duke’s first three golfers jumped out to an early lead on the front nine and never let up as the Blue Devils claimed the 2021 ACC Women’s Golf Championship at Sedgefield Country Club with a 5-0 match play victory over Florida State. It was Duke’s 22nd overall ACC women’s golf title and first in the new match play format.
“It feels great,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “It feels a little bit like we won twice because the stroke play and then match play. It is really cool. I love Sedgefield and I love the way they run this event. It was a little bit of an experiment throwing match play in. All of us coaches got together and decided to do this. I know we won and I am bound to feel great about that, but I think it’s a really great addition. It feels a little bit like nationals and that is what we hope the conference does is sort of prepare you for further postseason. A great event.”
Duke freshman Phoebe Brinker was first off the tee, and she proceeded to win four of the first eight holes, including victories on holes No. 1, No. 4, No. 7 and No. 8. After dropping the ninth hole, Brinker posted three consecutive wins on holes 10-12 and closed out the match on No. 14 with a par to earn a 5&4 victory over Florida State’s Amelia Williamson.
In the second match, Duke’s Jaravee Boonchant dropped the first hole to FSU’s Taylor Roberts, but won the next three holes and five of the next seven to take a commanding lead. Roberts battled back to win the ninth hole, but Boonchant responded with three wins on holes No. 10, 12 and 13 to close out a 6&5 victory.
The third pairing featured the top two players from the stroke play competition – ACC individual champion Gina Kim of Duke against runner-up Beatrice Wallin of Florida State. Wallin took an early lead with a win on hole No. 2, but Kim responded with three consecutive wins on holes 3-5. Wallin cut the deficit to one with a par on No. 14 before Kim birdied the par 5 15th hole to go back up by two. Kim then parred No. 16 to close out a 3&2 win and secure Duke’s third title in the last four championships.
With the championship decided, the final two matches played out to the 18th hole. Duke’s Anne Chen, who was down four through 13, staged a furious comeback, claiming all five remaining holes and taking a 1 Up victory. In the final pairing, Duke’s Erica Shepherd won No. 17 and 18 to earn a 2 Up victory.
Five ACC teams are ranked in the most recent Golfstat rankings (April 14), including No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Wake Forest, No. 8 Florida State, No. 11 Virginia and No. 16 Virginia Tech. The NCAA regionals are scheduled for May 10-12 with bids announced Wednesday, April 28 on Golf Channel.
2021 ACC Women’s Golf Championship – Match Play Final
#1 Duke 5, #3 Florida State 0
Phoebe Brinker (DUKE) def. Amelia Williamson (FSU), 5&4
Jaravee Boonchant (DUKE) def. Taylor Roberts (FSU), 6&5
Gina Kim (DUKE) def. Beatrice Wallin (FSU), 3&2
Anne Chen (DUKE) def. Charlotte Heath (FSU), 1 Up
Erica Shepherd (DUKE) def. Alice Hodge (FSU), 2 Up