HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Sophomore Taylor Totland (+8) scored a 76 to tie for 16th place to lead the 20th-ranked Furman women's golf team Sunday in the final day of the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,221 yard Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
The Paladins (+50) finished tenth at the tournament, which featured 11 of the last 14 national champions and 12 teams ranked among the top 20 in the latest Golfstat rankings. Seven of the nine teams that finished higher than Furman were ranked among the top 10 in the nation, and all nine were ranked in the top 16. Furman scored wins over two top-20 teams, #17 Vanderbilt (+53) and #19 Arizona State (+55), at the tournament.
#6 Duke (+6) set a third round record by four strokes, carding a 282 on Sunday, to finish with a tournament best 858. The Blue Devils beat #8 LSU (+15) and #3 Southern California (+15) by nine strokes to take the title. #16 Tennessee (+37) was fourth, while #2 South Carolina (+38) and #12 Wake Forest (+38) tied for fifth.
Totland, who entered the tournament ranked 13th nationally, scored a birdie on No. 13 and concluded the tournament 14 strokes back of individual medalist Madelene Sagstrom of LSU, the 12th-ranked player in the nation, who beat #7 Leona Maguire of Duke in a playoff after birdieing the 18th hole. The duo each scored a three-round total of 207.
Furman junior Valentina Romero (+13) notched a birdie on No. 5 to card a 78 on Sunday and tie for 39th, while rookie Alice Chen (+14), who led the Paladins with a 75 in the final round after birdieing No. 8, tied for 44th. Paladin freshman Reona Hirai (+16) carded a 76 on Sunday to tie for 54th, while rookie Jacqueline Bendrick (+25) tied for 75th after birdieing No. 15.
"Today was a struggle," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester. "We just didn't have our best stuff, and the course was playing pretty tough. Fortunately, we hung in there and still beat some highly ranked teams."
Furman will compete at the 3M Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate in Augusta, Ga., March 13-15.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
10 Furman 300 297 305 902 +50
T16 Taylor Totland 71 74 76 221 +8
T39 Valentina Romero 74 74 78 226 +13
T44 Alice Chen 79 73 75 227 +14
T54 Reona Hirai 76 77 76 229 +16
T75 Jacqueline Bendrick 79 76 83 238 +25