POOLER, GA. – Thirteen-time Southern Conference champion Furman (+1) holds the team lead after Sunday's first round of play at the Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship at the par-72 6,050 yard Savannah Quarters Golf Club in Pooler, Ga.
Seeking their first title since 2009, the 26th-ranked Paladins shot a 1-over 289 Sunday to hold a five-stroke lead over Chattanooga (+6), while Western Carolina (+10) rounds out the top three. Furman has two players in the top three and its entire counting four in the top 11, including freshman Alice Chen (-2), who is tied with Mercer freshman Hannah Mae (-2) for the individual lead after shooting a 70 with a team-high five birdies in the opening round.
Sophomore Taylor Totland (-1), who ranks 24th nationally, birdied No. 5 and No. 11 to card a 71 and tie for third on Sunday, while senior Laura DeMarco (+2) and freshman Reona Hirai (+2) tied for 11th with an opening-round 74. DeMarco scored four birdies on Sunday, while Hirai tallied three birdies in the opening round. Senior Valentina Romero (+4) is tied for 23rd after notching back-to-back birdies on No. 3 and No. 4 for a 76 in the first round.
"The girls played solidly today, and we put up a nice first-round score," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester following the round. "Alice and Taylor provided a good 1-2 punch, and it was good to see Reona and Laura kick in steady rounds, too. I can't complain about having four players in the top 11."
Second round action is slated for Monday at 8 a.m. with the Paladins scheduled to tee off of No. 1 beginning at 9:40 a.m. Final round action will take place on Tuesday morning. The winner of the SoCon Championship will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Fans can follow live scoring for the tournament by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com or at www.GolfStatResults.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
2015 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship
Par-72, 6,050 yards
Top 10 individuals
T1. Hannah Mae Deems, Mercer 70
T1. Alice Chen, Furman 70
T3. Ashley Thompson, Western Carolina 71
T3. Taylor Totland, Furman 71
T5. Kim Mitchell, Western Carolina 72
T5. Emily McLennan, Chattanooga 72
T7. Lela Oakley, Wofford 73
T7. Berglind Bjornsdottir, UNCG 73
T7. Emily Stallings, Samford 73
T7. Agathe Sauzon, Chattanooga 73
1. Furman 289
2. Chattanooga 294
3. Western Carolina 298
4. Samford 299
5. Wofford 302
6. ETSU 303
7. Mercer 305
8. UNCG 313
9. The Citadel 326
1 Furman 289 +1
T1 Alice Chen 70 -2
T3 Taylor Totland 71 -1
T11 Laura DeMarco 74 +2
T11 Reona Hirai 74 +2
T23 Valentina Romero 76 +4