AUGUSTA, GA. -- Freshman Alice Chen (+1) carded a 72 Friday to tie for fifth place to lead the 21st-ranked Furman women's golf team in the opening day of the 3M Jaguar Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,085 yard Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
Chen, a native of Princeton, N.J, birdied No. 4 and made the turn at an even 36 then scored birdies on two of the final three holes to finish the round one over par, just two strokes behind leaders Nancy Xu of Columbia and Ines Lescudier of Kennesaw State, who each scored an opening-round 70.
Furman sophomore Taylor Totland (+2) recorded three birdies to tie for seventh place after carding a 73 in Friday's round, while rookie Reona Hirai (+5) is tied for 16th after birdieing No. 13 to score a 76. Senior Laura DeMarco (+6) birdied the opening hole, tying for 25th with a 77, and junior Valentina Romero (+10) is tied for 53rd entering Saturday's play. Rookie Jacqueline Bendrick, who is playing as an individual, is tied for 25th after scoring a birdie on No. 2 to card a 77 on Friday.
Kennesaw State (+11) leads the tournament after scoring a 296 in the opening round. Furman (+14), #40 GRU Augusta (+14), and #43 Coastal Carolina (+14) are tied for second at 298, while Chattanooga (+18) rounds out the top five after carding a 302 in opening round play.
"We didn't get off to a very start, but I am really proud of our team for fighting back to keep us in the hunt," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester. "Alice birdied two of her last three holes, and Laura parred her last seven, while Taylor continued her solid play."
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament begins Saturday at 9 a.m. The tournament will conclude on Sunday. The Paladins tee off of No. 1 at 10:40 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
T2 Furman 298 +14
T5 Alice Chen 72 +1
T7 Taylor Totland 73 +2
T16 Reona Hirai 76 +5
T25 Laura DeMarco 77 +6
T53 Valentina Romero 81 +10
*T25 Jacqueline Bendrick 77 +6
*=playing as an individual