With Celine Boutier flashing the form that made her the best player in college golf as a sophomore two years ago, Duke displayed its credentials as a national championship contender with a dominating victory over the rest of the field and some tough conditions Tuesday in the wrapup of the LSU Tiger Golf Classic.
The field also featured two players who accounted for three PIAA Class AAA individual titles from 2011 to 2013, but the big story was the play of Boutier and the Blue Devils.
Boutier, a senior from France, added a 3-under 69 over the 6,237-yard, par-72 University Course in Baton Rouge, La. in the final round to scores of 67 and 72 in rounds 1 and 2, respectively, for a brilliant 8-under 208 total that dusted the field by a whopping 14 shots.
And that had a lot to do with Duke’s 16-shot margin of victory over Arkansas in the team chase. The Blue Devils posted a 4-over 292 in the final round for a 17-over 881 total. Arkansas had a final-round 296 for an 897 total. And that was 13 shots clear of third-place finisher Tulane, which put up a final-round 297 for a 910 total.
Boutier’s teammate, Virginia Elena Carta, a freshman from Italy, got a share of second along with Tulane’s Madison Opfer, a senior from Plant City, Fla., at 6-over 222. Carter had a solid 2-under 70 in the final round while Opfer carded a 1-over 73.
Three Dookies, Sandy Choi, a junior from South Korea, Leona Maguire, a sophomore from Ireland, and Gurbani Singh, a sophomore from India, all finished in the group tied for 14th at 228. Maguire, the No. 1-ranked amateur player in the world, struggled, but she was not alone in that regard as the difficult University Course and windy conditions sent scores soaring.
Arkansas was led by its Mexican connection as freshman Maria Fassi and senior Regina Plasencia shared fourth place at 7-over 223. Fassi finished up with a 75 while Plasencia fired a 1-over 73 Tuesday.
It was a solid showing in the team chase for Wake Forest, which posted a final-round 303 to finish fourth at 912. The Demon Deacons were led in Tuesday’s final round by sophomore Erica Herr, the two-time PIAA Class AAA champion while at Council Rock North. Herr carded a 1-over 73 Tuesday to end up in a tie for 23rd at 230.
North Carolina State, with a final-round 312, and host LSU, with a final-round 305, finished tied for fifth at 920.
It was a tough trip to the bayou for Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish battled for a final-round 308, their best team round of the week, to get a share of 11th at 934. Talia Campbell, a senior from Dallas, led the way for the Irish. She posted a 2-over 74 in the final round to finish tied for 14th at 228.
It was a forgettable three days for Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion at Mount St. Joseph. DiLisio had her worst outing of what has been a spectacular freshman year at Notre Dame with rounds of 81, 80 and 86 for a 247 total that left her in a tie for 80th.