Does Duke’s Lindy Duncan go out with a bang?
Crafting a memorable season at a program as storied as
the Blue Devils’ is tougher than at other schools. By any
measure, though, the accomplishments of the 21-year-old
from Fort Lauderdale during her junior year were impressive: four wins, 10 top-10s in 10 starts, 71.07 average. Had
Duncan taken just three fewer strokes during her 31 rounds
in 2011-12, she would have bumped Amanda Blumenherst as
the school’s single-season scoring leader at 71.0.
On the course Duncan appears emotionless, her color-inside-the-lines style lacking flash but so precise it would
make the Swiss applaud. Maybe that’s why her accomplishments haven’t quite garnered the attention accorded some
Dukies of yore. Still, Duncan’s game has shown such a
natural progression in her three seasons in Durham that it
is reasonable to expect still more improvement during the
three-time first-team All-American’s senior year.
Meanwhile, there’s an intriguing goal to aim for. Duncan
enters 2012-13 with a 72.17 career average, trailing only
Blumenherst (71.67) in Duke’s record book. A repeat of last
season would dip Duncan’s final tally below 72, a number
worthy of consideration not just among the school’s but the
college game’s all-time greats.
Are the women any closer to adopting the “.500 rule”
or match play for the postseason?
That the men’s and women’s games have separate standards
to qualify for NCAA regionals, let alone different formats for
crowning their champions, is bizarre to many observers. This
includes more than a few coaches of women’s teams who have
watched from afar how requiring men’s schools to have a winning head-to-head record to be eligible for the postseason has
shaken out since being adopted in 2007-08. With few schools
left home that would have otherwise qualified and many
high-profile tournaments having become more accessible to
lower-profile programs, there appears to be growing interest
to consider a similar change for the women’s game.
Likewise, the dramatic finishes in the men’s championship
since moving to match play in 2009 have been noticed. Yet
twice in the last three years the NCAA women’s title has been
decided by just one stroke after 72 stroke-play holes, each
claimed by a first-time team winner (Purdue, 2010; Alabama,
2012). Given the excitement and inclusiveness of the championship, the shift to match play likely seems farther away.
Can Longhorns and Crimson Tide repeat?
Turn the page to find out. N