American Express Stock – Men’s Golf Begins Quest for Ninth ACC Title
MILTON, Ga. – The Duke men’s golf team begins its quest for the program’s ninth title when the ACC Championship begins Friday morning on the Crabapple Course at the Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.
The championship is set for April 23-26 with a new format this season that includes 54 holes of stroke play on Friday (36 holes) and Saturday (18 holes) before match play begins on Sunday. The top four teams following stroke play advance to the match play semifinals on Sunday with the finals contested on Monday.
The first round Friday begins at 7:30 a.m. with continuous play throughout the day for the second round. The third round on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. Match play semifinals on Saturday and finals on Sunday begin at 9 a.m. Spectators are allowed at the 2021 ACC Men’s Golf Championship and it is not a ticketed event. Spectators will be required to mask.
Match play finals on Monday will be carried live on ACCNX beginning at 9 a.m. In addition, a one-hour recap show of the best of the ACC Men’s Golf Championship will air on ACC Network Monday, May 3 at 7 p.m.
ABOUT THE COURSE
Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course will play at 7,319 yards for the championship at par 70. The course has hosted multiple high-profile events including the WGC’s American Express Championship, won by Tiger Woods in 2003, and the 2013 NCAA Division-I Men’s National Championship. This is just the second time the ACC Championship has been played in the state of Georgia and the first since 1997, when the event was contested at Whitewater Country Club in Fayetteville.
The Blue Devils enter the championship ranked 36th nationally in the Golfstat rankings and 39th by Golfweek. Duke will be paired with Virginia Tech (Golfstat ranked No. 101) and Boston College (No. 128) for Friday’s 36 holes of continuous play. Ten of the ACC’s 12 teams are ranked 36th or better in the latest Golfstat rankings. Duke is off the No. 10 tee between 8:30-9:18 a.m. on Friday, along with the Hokies and Eagles.
DUKE IN THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
The Blue Devils have claimed eight ACC titles in the program’s history, including recent championships in 2017, 2013 and 2005. The Blue Devils have finished fifth or better in each of the last four championships that have been contested (the 2020 event was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic), including a tie for fourth in 2019 at the Old North State Club. Former Blue Devil All-American Chandler Eaton set the program’s single-round ACC Championship scoring record with an 8-under 64 during the 2019 event, while Ryan Blaum holds the program’s 54-hole record with a 10-under 206 on his way to the ACC’s individual title in 2005. Blaum, Matt Krause (1999), Jason Widener (1990), Thorny Hoelle (1969), Fred Ewald (1966) and John Abernathy (1962) have all won or shared individual medalist honors at the ACC Championship. Duke’s team titles have come in 1954, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 2005, 2013 and 2017.
Live scoring is provided via GolfStat.com for the entirely of the championship. Monday’s match play finals airs live on ACCNX beginning at 9 a.m.
THE DUKE LINEUP
Duke’s lineup for the championship includes graduate captain Steven DiLisio, seniors Adrien Pendaries, Evan Katz and Qi wen Wong and freshmen Ian Siebers and Jimmy Zheng. Ranked No. 65, Siebers enters the championship as one of 25 ACC golfers ranked inside the Golfstat top 150. He is also ranked No. 78 in the Golfweek top 150. Siebers owns the 13th-best stroke average in the ACC this season, leading the team at 71.24. Pendaries is second on the team and 26th in the ACC at 72.05, Zheng is third on the squad and 36th in the conference at 72.48.
DUKE MEN’S GOLF TEAM NOTES
- In an abbreviated season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Devils did not compete during the fall of 2020 and have logged just seven tournaments this season.
- In those seven events, Duke has finished in the top five four times, including a second-place showing at the Sea Best Invitational at TPC Sawgrass – Dye’s Valley Course in early February.
- The team is fresh off a strong regular-season finish at the Stitch Intercollegiate at MacGregor Downs GC in Cary, N.C., where the Blue Devils shot 23-under as a team and finished sixth overall.
- Freshman Ian Siebers had a record-setting tournament at the Stitch, logging the lowest 54-hole score by a freshman in Duke history of 13-under 203. He closed with consecutive rounds of 6-under 66 – tied for the third lowest single-rounds to par by a Duke freshman all time.
- Siebers current scoring average of 71.24 stands as the lowest by a Duke freshman in history. Current senior Adrien Pendaries holds the current Duke freshman scoring record of 72.15 in 2018.
- Siebers also holds top 10 marks all-time in the Duke freshman record book for rounds in the 60s (six), rounds under par (12), rounds of par or better (12), top 10 finishes (three) and top 20 finishes (five).
- Jimmy Zheng‘s current scoring average of 72.48 stands as the fourth best all-time by a Duke freshman.
- Zheng became just the fifth Duke men’s golfer since at least 2009 to record a hole-in-one when he aced the par-3 14th hole at the Camp Creek GC earlier this season. It was Duke’s first hole-in-one on record since Alex Matlari‘s at the 2016 Hootie Intercollegiate at Bulls Bay.
- Seniors Adrien Pendaries and Evan Katz are current third and sixth, respectively, on Duke’s career scoring average list. Pendaries has played to a 71.72 average in his career, while Katz has posted a 72.55.
- Pendaries is also fourth all-time at Duke in rounds in the 60s (32), eighth in rounds under par (44) and 10th in rounds of par or better (53).
- Pendaries’ 54-hole of score of 16-under 200 at the 2019 Clemson Invitational at the Cliffs of Keowee Falls stands as tied for the best 54-hole score to par in team history.
- Pendaries has finished in the top 20 in each of his two career starts in the ACC Championship, finished tied for 19th at 6-under as a freshman in 2018 and tied for 16th at 3-under the next season.
- Duke’s current team scoring average of 287.90 stands as the sixth best in program history. The 2018-19 club set the program record at 283.74.
- Head Coach Jamie Green, who assumed the reigns of the Duke program in the spring of 2009 has presided over 19 team titles, including ACC crowns in 2013 and 2017.
- Green’s teams have recorded the top seven spots on Duke’s all-time list of lowest team scoring averages.
BIRDIES FOR (BA)BIES
Spearheaded by 2019 Blue Devil women’s golfer Virginia Elena Carta, the Duke men’s and women’s golf programs have continued their fundraising program benefitting the Duke Children’s Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units called Birdies for Babies. Duke has raised $11,023.00 so far this season and over the four years of the program, it has raised $58,325. Those looking to support the partnership with the Duke Children’s can make pledges per birdie. Pledge start at $0.50 and high pledge increments are welcome. If the Blue Devils register an eagle (counts as two birdies), albatross (three birdies) and hole-in-one (four birdies) they will count as stated. For more information, head to https://giving.dukechildrens.org/ways-to-give/duke-athletics-partnerships