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The late sunset in Carlsbad, Calif., marked the conclusion of a solid spring season for the Duke men's golf team. Having narrowly missed team qualification for the NCAA Championship, it's easy to view this season as a disappointment compared to last year. However, Duke won its home tournament, the Rod Myers Invitational, and is no longer in the bottom of the ACC. Additionally, the Blue Devils continued to qualify by advancing to the NCAA Regional for the ninth consecutive year and the postseason for the 32nd time in program history. Jamie Green and Duke have qualified 14 of 15 seasons during his tenure as head coach. It was a very solid season, but the Blue Devils failed to produce results when it mattered most.

Back in September, Duke began its season ranked in the top 25 in Sammamish, Washington, at the Sahalee Players Championship. Notably, this marked the debut of freshman and U.S. Junior Amateur Champion Bryan Kim for the Blue Devils and the start of an exciting season for a young team.

Duke finished in the top five in all but one of their games in the spring. The Blue Devils often fell behind in the first round but always found a way back to continue their winning streak. But while their results remained consistent, their lineups were significantly different from those in the fall.

Sophomores Ethan Evans and Daniel Choi made their spring debut at the Prestige Tournament. Duke finished in fifth place, but not without some fireworks. Evans was the top Blue Devil at -7, the team's best score after 54 holes this year. Individually, with a low score of 6 under par, sophomore William Love posted a telling score in his return from injury, the second best of his career.

Duke kept his momentum going at the Wake Forest Invitational at the famed Pinehurst No. 2. Love played incredible second and third rounds, shooting 66 and 68, respectively, and made 11 birdies to lift his team to fourth place.

Best win

Duke remained in the top five all fall and earned a team victory at its home tournament, the Rod Myers Invitational. Junior Luke Sample led the way with a score of 5 under par in third place, and the New York native would remain one of Duke's top scorers in the fall. Bryan Kim, the Blue Devils' other top scorer during the fall season, also secured his first collegiate top five finish.

Best player: Ethan Evans

Ethan Evans was the Blue Devils' most valuable player in a stellar year that saw him climb 300 spots on the individual scoreboard. When spring began, Evans hit his stride, finishing as the top Blue Devil in the first four tournaments. Evans and Florida State made a great combination. At The Hayt in Sawgrass, Florida, Evans posted his best finish for Duke, finishing second at 2 under par. At Valspar Collegiate in Palm City, Florida, the sophomore shot an incredible 65 in the third round, his career low.

Although the team couldn't repeat its results from the previous year – it failed to make the semifinals of the ACC Championship and only qualified at the NCAA Regionals – Evans continued his great year, finishing as the best individual player on a non-qualifying team at the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In another stellar third round, Evans fought his way into a three-win-out-of-two playoff, where his magical run ended before the final round.

Awards

Evans was the Blue Devils' lone qualifier for nationals and performed admirably at the event. Seven Blue Devils qualified for the All-ACC Academic Team – a program record. Ian Siebers received his fourth consecutive nomination, joining Jimmy Zheng, Kelly Chinn, Luke Sample, William Love, Daniel Choi and Bryan Kim.

It's also time for college players to continue competing in tournaments to improve their game and prepare for the upcoming fall. Kim impressively missed the cut by one stroke at the U.S. Open at No. 2 Pinehurst, where Duke played earlier in the year. In the fall, the Blue Devils will turn a year older and look to get back to nationals as a team.

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