HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Sophomore Taylor Totland (E) fired an even 71 to tie for sixth place to lead the 20th-ranked Furman women's golf team in the opening day of the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,221 yard Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
Totland, a native of Tinton Falls, N.J, parred the first nine holes then birdied No. 15 and the par-3 No. 17 to finish the day three strokes behind leader Gabriella Then (-2) of Southern California, who shot a 69 to open the tournament.
Junior Valentina Romero (+3) enters Saturday's second round tied for 22nd place after birdieing No. 5 and No. 10 to card a 74 in the opening round, while freshman Reona Hirai (+5) birdied No. 18 to tie for 48th with a first-round 76. Paladin rookies Alice Chen (+8) and Jacqueline Bendrick (+8) are tied for 66th after each scored a 79 in Friday's round. Chen birdied No. 1 and No. 6, while Bendrick scored birdies on the par-3 No. 8 and No. 15.
#3 Southern California (+1) leads #8 LSU (+7) by six strokes after carding an opening-round 285. #4 Arkansas (+9), #6 Duke (+9), and North Carolina (+9) are tied for third, while #29 Auburn (+14) and #19 Arizona State (+14) are tied for sixth. #2 South Carolina (+15) is eighth, followed by the Paladins (+16), who are in ninth place in the 17-team field after one day of competition.
"We played in tough conditions today, fighting both wind and cold," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester. "Overall, we hung in there and just needed one more good score. Taylor continued her strong play with an impressive round of even par. We are looking forward to better weather and hopefully better scores tomorrow."
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament, which features 11 of the last 14 national champions and 12 teams ranked among the top 20 in the latest Golfstat rankings, begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The tournament will conclude on Sunday.
The Paladins tee off of No. 1 at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
T9 Furman 300 +16
T6 Taylor Totland 71 E
T22 Valentina Romero 74 +3
T48 Reona Hirai 76 +5
T66 Alice Chen 79 +8
T66 Jacqueline Bendrick 79 +8