Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Furman's Stefanie Kenoyer fired an opening round 71 to grab a share of fourth place just two strokes off of the lead at the NCAA Women's Golf East Regional on Thursday morning at the LPGA International's par-72 Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The senior, three over par through 10 holes, notched three consecutive birdies starting at No. 11 and shot a 33 on the back nine to finish at one-under 71. Two over through three holes, Kenoyer recorded a pair of birdies on the front nine to make the turn at two-over. After a bogey at No. 10, the Lighthouse Point, Fla., native played the final eight holes at four-under to climb into the top five.
"After a rough start I really got my putter going and came back great on the back nine," said Kenoyer.
She trails Florida State's Jessica Negron (-3) by two strokes after 18 holes in the 54-hole tournament. Daniela Holmqvist of California and Catherine O'Donnell of North Carolina are tied for second at two-under.
Second round action is slated for Friday morning with final round play set to take place on Saturday. The top eight teams in the 24-team field and top two individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championship May 18-21, at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
Kenoyer, a native of Lighthouse Point, Fla., led Furman with a 75.6 stroke average over 23 rounds during the 2010-11 season. She garnered one top-five and two top-10 finishes while helping the Paladins to a No. 62 national ranking according to GolfStat.com.
A 2008 and 2009 SoCon individual medalist, Kenoyer captured SoCon Player of the Year honors in both 2009 and 2010. She is a three-time National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar Team member and received Furman's annual Student-Athlete Achievement Award last month.
Furman fans can follow Kenoyer's quest to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships through live scoring of the 2011 NCAA East Regional at www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.GolfStatResults.com.