Duke, No. 10 in the latest Golfstat rankings, put a little room between itself and the rest of the field Friday with a 2-under 286 as the Blue Devils built a nine-shot lead over three teams after two rounds of the ACC Championship at The Reserve Golf Club at Pawleys Island’s Beach Course in Pawleys Island, S.C.
Duke stands at 6-under 570 after two rounds over the 6,192-yard, par-72 Beach Course layout. No. 38 North Carolina, No. 4 Florida State and No. 41 Clemson are tied for second at 3-over 579. All three teams posted rounds of 4-over 292.
No. 19 Miami, which trailed Duke by just a shot after the opening round, fell back a little with a 301 Friday and shares fifth place with No. 25 North Carolina State at 10-over 586. The Wolfpack had a solid 1-over 289 Friday after opening with a 297.
No. 65 Notre Dame is alone in seventh at 595 after adding a 287 to its opening-round 298. Injury-plagued Wake Forest, ranked 15th, is last in the 12-team field at 620 after a 308.
The Blue Devils were led by junior Leona Maguire, the No. 1 player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking from Ireland. Maguire retained a share of the individual lead as she added an even-par 72 to her opening-round 68 for a 4-under 140 total. She shares the lead with Florida State’s Kim Metraux, a junior from Switzerland who added a 1-under 71 to her opening-round 69.
Three of Maguire’s teammates are among the nine players tied for seventh at even-par 144. Sophomore Virginia Elena Carta, the reigning NCAA individual champion from Italy, had a second straight even-par 72. Ana Belac, a freshman from Slovenia, fired a 2-under 70. And Sandy Choi added a 1-over 73 to her opening-round 71.
Gurbani Singh, a junior from India, is tied for 16th at 1-over 145, but her even-par 72 enabled the Blue Devils to toss Choi’s 73.
North Carolina’s top two individual finishers are also in that logjam tied for seventh at even-par 144. Bryana Nguyen, who shared the opening-round lead with Maguire with a 4-under 68, fell back with a 76. Leslie Cloots, a senior from Belgium, added a 74 to her opening-round 70 to land on 144.
The Tar Heels’ two best rounds of the day came from freshman Brynn Walker, who won the 2014 and 2015 PIAA Class AAA titles at Radnor, and Lexi Harkins, a junior from Crystal Lake, Ill., both of whom carded a 1-under 71. They are in the group tied for 36th at 3-over 147.
Kelly Whaley, a sophomore from Farmington, Conn., struggled to an 80 and is tied for 40th at 153.
North Carolina head coach Jan Mann worked with Walker a little after the talented freshman opened up with a 76 in her first round at an ACC Championship.
“It was great Brynn had a much better day,” Mann told the North Carolina website. “We worked on her putting (Thursday) afternoon. I think we found some things that she could do on the course that worked for her overall.
“There’s a tendency for her and other players to get quicker with their tempo. So we worked on slowing that down. With that adjustment, she did very well.”
While Wake Forest struggled in the team race, the Demon Deacons’ top two players, Jennifer Kupcho, a sophomore from Littleton, Colo., and Sierra Sims, a senior from Austin, Texas, remained in contention in the individual standings.
Kupcho, one of the top freshmen in the country a year ago, added a 1-under 71 to her opening-round 70 and is alone in third place, a shot behind the two co-leaders at 3-under 141. Sims, who opened with a 3-under 69, carded a 1-over 73 Friday and is tied for fourth with Clemson’s Alice Hewson, a sophomore from England, at 2-under 142. Hewson matched par with a 72 after opening with a 70.
N.C. State’s Laura Kowohl, a sophomore from Germany, is alone in sixth at 1-under 143 after posting a 2-under 70.
Wake Forest junior Erica Herr, the 2011 and 2012 PIAA Class AAA champion at Council Rock North, improved from her opening-round 82 with a 78 and is alone in 56th at 160.
Notre Dame has a pair of players in the top 20 as Emma Albrecht, a sophomore form Ormond Beach, Fla., and Jordan Ferreira, a senior from University Place, Wash., are in the group tied for 20th at 2-over 146. Albrecht matched par in the second round with a 72 and Ferreira added a 1-over 73 to her opening-round 72.
A pair of Mount St. Joseph products, sophomore Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion from Hatfield, and junior Alison Snakard of Collegeville are in a group tied for 47th at 155. DiLisio had a second-round 77 while Snakard, who opened with a solid 1-over 73, fell back with an 82.
Maddie Rose Hamilton, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., is tied for 53rd at 157 after improving from an opening-round 82 with a 3-over 75 in the second round for the Irish.