EUGENE, Ore. -- The 19th-ranked Furman women's golf team will open play Friday at the 2016 NCAA Championships, which will be contested May 20-25 at the par 72, 6,369 yard Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
The Paladins are set to tee-off beginning at 7:30 a.m. PT from No. 1 and will be playing the opening round in a group that includes No. 20 Oregon and No. 21 Tennessee. On Saturday, Furman will tee off at noon from No. 10 and will also play with Oregon and Tennessee.
Furman's five-player lineup will include SoCon Co-Player of the Year Alice Chen, who earned a spot on the WGCA All-Region team after placing sixth among the individuals at the NCAA Bryan Regional, SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-SoCon selection Haylee Harford, plus All-SoCon honorees Taylor Totland and Valentina Romero. Sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick will round out the Paladin lineup.
The Paladins are part of an 24-team field that will play under the NCAA Championship's revised format, which was instituted last year. The teams will play 54 holes of stroke play over the course of three days, beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday. The top 15 teams will then play one additional round of stroke play on Monday, May 23. The top eight teams at the end of Monday's round will move into the match-play single elimination bracket. Tuesday will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals, and the finals will be played Wednesday afternoon.
"Competing at the NCAA Championship is a goal of every Division I golf team in the country," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who was named the 2016 Southern Conference Coach of the Year. "It is no accident that our team is here, because we are ranked among the nation's top-20 teams. Competing for a national championship is something that this team has been working toward. By advancing through regionals, we have proven that we can compete with the best teams in the country."
Furman, who secured the Southern Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by capturing its 15th SoCon Championship last month at Savannah Quarters Golf Club in Savannah, Ga., finished fourth at the NCAA Bryan Regional to earn a berth at the NCAA Championship. 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 Championships will be available at www.golfstat.com or by logging onto www.furmanpaladins.com. The Golf Channel will provide unprecedented prime time coverage of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships. Twelve and a half hours of live event programming will be shown starting on Monday, May 23, and concluding with the match play finals on Wednesday afternoon.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 - Alabama
2 - USC
3 - UCLA
4 - Florida
5 - Duke
6 - Georgia
7 - Northwestern
8 - Oklahoma State
9 - Arizona
10 - Arkansas
11 - Stanford
12 - Washington
13 – Virginia
14 - Florida State
15 - South Carolina
16 – Furman
17 – Oregon
18 – Tennessee
19 - Texas
20 - Ohio State
21 - BYU
22 - Miami (FL)
23 - North Carolina
24 – Michigan
1. Elise Bradley, Louisiana State University
2. Linnea Strom, Arizona State University
3. Leonie Harm, University of Houston
4. Laura Lonardi, Baylor University
5. Olivia Cason, University of Louisville
6. Bianca Pagdanganan, Gonzaga University
7. Marianne Li, University of California, Berkeley
8. Lauren Stephenson, Clemson University
9. August Kim, Purdue University
10. Andrea Wong, University of California, Davis
11. Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest University
12. Sarah Burnham, Michigan State University