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Furman To Entertain 17 Teams At 43rd Lady Paladin Invitational This Weekend

Laura DeMarco
Laura DeMarco

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman women's golf team will entertain 17 teams at the 43rd Lady Paladin Invitational Golf Tournament this weekend, September 21-23, at the par-72, 6,266-yard Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C. 

"For many years, the Lady Paladin has been a top college event featuring some of the nation's elite programs," said head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her third year at the helm of the Paladin program.  "Our goal is to run a first-rate tournament with the most competitive field possible. This year's teams are a big jump in that direction as we look to make it better each year."

Furman will be joined in the field this year by Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Georgia State, Kansas, Kennesaw State, North Carolina, Samford, Southern Miss, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UNC Greensboro, Wofford, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, and Yale.

The teams at this year's tournament will participate in Birdies for Water to benefit Golf Fore Africa, a 501 (c)(3) founded in 2006 by Furman golf alumna and LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King. To date GFA has raised over 2.5 million dollars to fund projects in Rwanda, Lesotho, Kenya, Mali, Niger, and Zambia. Currently Golf Fore Africa is raising two million dollars to bring clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to over 100 villages in rural Zambia. 

Teams will raise money by securing pledges for each birdie their team members record during the tournament. The goal is to raise $15,000, which will bring clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to one village.  To sponsor the Furman women's golf team in this endeavor, e-mail Hester at [email protected]

The Lady Paladin Invitational began in 1972 with Furman claiming the inaugural title and Lady Paladin Beth Solomon taking individual medalist honors.  Over the years, many of the most recognizable names in women's golf have won the tournament including Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, Sherri Turner, Donna Andrews, and Dottie Pepper.

The 54-hole tournament begins with individuals teeing off in opening round play at 8:51 a.m. on Sunday.  Second round play tees off at 8:51 a.m. on Monday with Tuesday's final round scheduled for a shotgun start at 9 a.m.  

Furman will tee-off of No. 1 beginning at 9 a.m. in first round play.  The Paladins' lineup includes senior Laura DeMarco, junior Valentina Romero, sophomore Taylor Totland, and freshmen Alice Chen and Reona Hirai.  Sophomore Macy McRaney will play as an individual.

Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome.  Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.birdiefire.com.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information