PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- The Furman women's golf team tied the best round in school history Tuesday, shooting a 283 to win the Golfweek Program Challenge at the par-71, 6,123 yard Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island, S.C.
The Paladins (+15), who last shot a 283 in the second round of the NCAA Championship in 1995, entered Tuesday's final round in second place, two strokes behind Campbell (+27), then surged into the lead after recording 17 birdies on the day. All five of the Furman players finished among the top nine individuals in the tournament.
"I can't say enough about this team and the effort that they showed today," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester following the win. "Our goal was to be in the hunt with nine holes to play, then we made 13 birdies on the back for the victory. It's good to feel like Furman women's golf is headed in the right direction."
Furman junior Valentina Romero (+3) and sophomore Taylor Totland (+3) tied for third. Romero birdied three out of five holes beginning with No. 10, finishing the round one-over at 72, while Totland birdied No. 7 and No. 16 to card a 73 in the final round. The Paladin duo finished four strokes back of individual medalist Rachel Walker (-1) of Old Dominion, who carded a 68 on Monday and a 69 on Tuesday to gain the victory.
Rookies Jacqueline Bendrick (+6) and Alice Chen (+6) tied for seventh, as Bendrick, who entered Tuesday's play in a tie for 23rd, notched five birdies to fire a 69 in the final round of play. Chen shot an even 71 in the final round with birdies on No. 15 and No. 18.
Senior Laura DeMarco (+7) birdied five holes on the back, including four-straight holes beginning at No. 17, also carding an even 71 in the final round of play, to finish in a tie for ninth place.
"With all five of our players finishing in the top 10, this was, obviously, a strong team effort," added Hester. "For Jacqueline to finish in the top 10 and hit under par in her final round shows that she's really a gutsy player. Taylor and Val were in a good position coming down the stretch, and overall, the girls really performed when they needed to."
Following an off weekend, Furman will compete in the Lady Paladin Invitational Sept. 21-23 in Greenville, S.C.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 293 291 283 867 +15
T3 Valentina Romero 71 73 72 216 +3
T3 Taylor Totland 73 70 73 216 +3
T7 Alice Chen 74 74 71 219 +6
T7 Jacqueline Bendrick 76 74 69 219 +6
T9 Laura DeMarco 75 74 71 220 +7