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Chen, Paladins Win Central District Invitational

Chen, Paladins Win Central District Invitational

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. -- Junior Alice Chen (-1) carded a final round 74 to win individual medalist honors and help the seventh-ranked Furman women's golf team to the team title Tuesday at the Central District Invitational hosted by Michigan State at the par 72, 6,265 yard St. Lucie Trail Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. 

The Paladins (E) placed four individuals among the top six and all five Furman golfers finished in the top 14.  Furman won the tournament by 23 strokes, edging out second-place Memphis (+23), while No. 49 Louisville (+26) was third.  No. 32 North Carolina (+32) took fourth place, and Maryland (+36) completed the top five.  

Tuesday's win marked the second team title for the Paladins this season, and Furman has finished among the top three teams at all six tournaments so far in the 2016-17 season.

Chen, who hails from Princeton, N.J., birdied No. 7 and No. 9 on Tuesday, finishing the round one stroke ahead of Michaela Fletcher (E) of Memphis, whose final-round 68 wasn't enough to catch Chen.

Paladin senior Taylor Totland (+1) posted a 77 with a birdie on No. 5 to finish in third place, and freshman Natalie Srinivasan (+3) finished fifth after carding a 74 with birdies on No. 6 and No. 17 on Tuesday.  Sophomore Haylee Harford (+4) posted a six birdies, including four on the front nine, and led the team with a 71 in the final round to finish sixth.  Junior Reona Hirai (+7) finished in a tie for 14th after carding a 74 with six birdies on Tuesday.

"I am very excited about this win," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull following the victory.  "After coming so close last week, I was very pleased with the focus and determination to get the job done.  Finishing the event at even par and winning by 23 shots is something to be very proud of.  I was also very excited for Alice, as she gained her first collegiate win.  We are really looking forward to the Darius Rucker Invitational next week."

Furman will compete at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C., March 3-5.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information


1 Furman 282 289 293 864 E

1 Alice Chen 70 71 74 215 -1

3 Taylor Totland 68 72 77 217 +1

5 Natalie Srinivasan 70 75 74 219 +3

6 Haylee Harford 74 75 71 220 +4

T14 Reona Hirai 78 71 74 223 +7