TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Sophomore Alice Chen (+1) and junior Taylor Totland (+2) each fired a 73 to tie for eighth place as the 33rd-ranked Furman women's golf team opened the 2016 spring season Friday at the third annual Florida State Match-Up Tournament at the par 72, 6,265 yard Don Veller Seminole Golf Course in Tallahassee, Fla.
Chen, a native of Princeton, N.J., eagled the par-5 No. 9 to make the turn at one under then posted a two over on the back to finish the round one stroke above par. Totland, who hails from Tinton Falls, N.J., scored three birdies on the back-9 to finish the opening round tied with Chen. The Furman duo is four strokes back of leader Maddie Szeryk (-3) of Texas A&M, who shot a 69 to open the tournament.
Paladin sophomore Reona Hirai (+4) and senior Valentina Romero (+4) each notched three birdies on Friday to enter the second round tied for 27th place, while rookie Haylee Harford (-5) opened the round with a birdie on the first hole then added an additional birdie on No. 9 to tie for 35th heading into Saturday's play. Sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+5), who is playing as an individual, birdied No. 9 and No. 15 to conclude the round tied with Harford.
#34 Florida State (+5) leads 38th-ranked SMU (+9), No. 44 South Carolina (+9), and Coastal Carolina (+9) by four strokes after recording a 293 in the opening round. The Paladins (+10) are tied for fifth with 17th-ranked Texas A&M (+10).
"We didn't quite have our best stuff today, but we hung in there and didn't hurt ourselves too badly," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program. "The wind really picked up and made the course play differently than in the practice round."
Second round play of the 54-hole tournament, which features four teams ranked in the top 25 and seven teams among the top 50 in the latest Golfstat rankings, begins Saturday at 8:30 a.m. The tournament will conclude on Sunday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.
The Paladins tee off of No. 1 at 9:26 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.
T5th Furman 298 +10
T8 Alice Chen 73 +1
T8 Taylor Totland 73 +1
T27 Reona Hirai 76 +4
T27 Valentina Romero 76 +4
T35 Haylee Harford 77 +5
T44 Jacqueline Bendrick 77 +5
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information