NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Furman (+6) posted a 290 to take the opening-round lead Friday at the Yale Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,008 yard The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.
The Paladins placed three players among the top nine after one day of play, including sophomore Alice Chen (-2), who carded five birdies to place third with a two-under 69, just one shot behind Vanderbilt's Cindy Ha (-3) and Lauren Stephenson (-3) of Clemson, who each fired an opening-round 68 to take the lead.
Freshman Haylee Harford (-1) scored consecutive birdies on No. 10 and 11 and again on No. 16 and 17 to conclude the round tied for fourth with a first-round 70, while sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+2) is tied for ninth after carding a 73 with four birdies, including back-to-back birdies on No. 14 and 15.
Junior Taylor Totland (+7) birdied No. 17 to tie for 41st with a 78, while senior Valentina Romero (+8) is tied for 48th after carding a 79 on Friday. Sophomore Reona Hirai (+9), who is playing as an individual, scored an 80 with birdies on No. 2 and No. 15 to tie for 56th after one round of competition.
The Paladins hold a three-stroke lead over Clemson (+9), while Michigan (+10) is one shot behind the Tigers in third. Vanderbilt (+12) is fourth, and Harvard (+16) and host Yale (+16) are tied for fifth.
"We had a great overall team effort today," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program. "Alice, Haylee, and Jacqueline really came through for us. We battled wind and rain on a difficult and quirky golf course."
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m., and the tournament will conclude on Sunday. The Paladins will tee off of No. 1 at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.birdiefire.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 290 +6
3 Alice Chen 69 -2
T4 Haylee Harford 70 -1
T9 Jacqueline Bendrick 73 +2
T41 Taylor Totland 78 +7
T48 Valentina Romero 79 +8
T56 Reona Hirai* 80 +9
* - playing as an individual