RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sophomore Taylor Totland (E) is tied for fifth to lead the 28th-ranked Furman women's golf team after two rounds of the NCAA East Regional in Raleigh N.C., at the par-72, 6,381 yard Lonnie Poole Golf Club.
Totland, who is ranked 20th nationally, carded one birdie on the front and two on the back to score a 74 in Friday's round, finishing the day six strokes back of second-ranked Madelene Sagstrom (-6) of LSU, who fired a 68 in the opening round and added a 70 in the second round.
Freshman Reona Hirai (+10) and senior Laura DeMarco (+10) are tied for 55th entering Saturday's final round. Hirai birdied No. 12 to score a 75 on Friday, while DeMarco birdied No. 11 and carded a 79 in the second round. Junior Valentina Romero (+11) carded one birdie on the front and one on the back, notching an 80 on Friday, and is tied for 63rd heading into the final round of play, while freshman Alice Chen (+15) is tied for 77th after scoring an 81 with birdies on No. 5 and No. 18.
Second-ranked South Carolina (+5) surged into the lead with a two-under 286 on Friday, moving up from a fifth-place finish in the opening round. No. 31 Alabama (+13) moved up one spot into second, while seventh-ranked LSU (+16) fell to third on Friday. No. 49 Coastal Carolina (+17) enters the final round in fourth place, while 15th-ranked Northwestern (+18) sits in fifth. No. 40 Ohio State (+20) and No. 42 N.C. State (+20) are tied for sixth following two rounds.
The Paladins (+30) are tied with 10th-ranked Mississippi State (+30), No. 34 Iowa State (+30), and 18-ranked Florida (+30) for tenth place after two rounds of play. Furman will tee-off at 7:30 a.m. from hole No. 10 in Saturday's final round.
"The golf course set up and windy conditions presented quite a few challenges today," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, the 2015 SoCon Coach of the Year, who is in her third year at the helm of the Paladin program. "Big numbers really got us, and we continued to struggle on the greens. Taylor and Reona both posted solid rounds considering the conditions. Tomorrow will be a new day, and we will fight to move up the leaderboard."
The Paladins are part of an 18-team East Regional field which includes five of the top 18 teams and seven of the top 30 teams in the country. The teams are battling for a top six finish and a berth in the 24-team NCAA Championship which is set to be held May 22-27 at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
Furman, who secured the Southern Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by capturing its 14th SoCon Championship two weeks ago at Savannah Quarters Golf Club in Savannah, Ga., is making its 19th NCAA Regional appearance and the program's first since 2010. The Paladins appeared in 18-straight regionals from 1993, when the regional format began, until 2010. The Paladins last reached the NCAA Championship in 2008, when Furman claimed an eighth place finish at the NCAA East Regional in Athens, Ga., to advance to the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M.
Live scoring of the NCAA East Regional is available at www.golfstat.com or by logging onto www.furmanpaladins.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
T10 Furman 298 308 606 +30
T5 Taylor Totland 70 74 144 E
T55 Laura DeMarco 75 79 154 +10
T55 Reona Hirai 79 75 154 +10
T63 Valentina Romero 75 80 155 +11
T77 Alice Chen 78 81 159 +15