SUNSET, S.C. -- Junior Alice Chen (-4) fired an opening round 68 to grab the individual lead and help the eighth-ranked Furman (-3) women's golf team to the team lead Friday at the Clemson Invitational at the par 72, 6,260 yard The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C.
Chen, who ranks 65th nationally and hails from Princeton, N.J., played flawless golf on Friday, notching a team-high four birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 8 and No. 9, to take a one-stroke lead over No. 95 Sophia Schubert (-3) of Texas and Houston's Allie Andersen (-3).
Senior Taylor Totland (-1) is tied for seventh after carding a one-under 71 with three birdies in round one, and sophomore Haylee Harford (+1) and freshman Natalie Srinivasan (+1) are tied for 18th after each scored an opening-round 73. Harford birdied two of the last three holes, while Srinivasan added three birdies on Friday. Junior Reona Hirai (+3) notched a 75 with two birdies to tie for 42nd heading into Saturday's second round.
Freshman Carly Burkhardt, who is playing as an individual, also tied for 18th with an opening round 73. Burkhardt scored three birdies on the day to finish the round ranked second among individuals.
The Paladins hold a three-stroke lead over Michigan State (E) after Friday's opening round. Fifth-ranked Florida (+1) is third, followed by No. 21 Texas (+3) and sixth-ranked Florida State (+3), who are tied for fourth.
"Today we put together one of our best rounds so far this season," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull. "I'm really proud of how the team played today in some especially tough conditions. We put ourselves in a good position for the rest of the tournament."
The 54-hole tournament will continue on Saturday, with teams teeing off of No. 1 beginning at 8 a.m. Furman will tee off at 11:45 a.m. and play in a group with Michigan State and Florida. The tournament will conclude on Sunday when teams will tee off of No. 1 and No. 10 starting at 8 a.m. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 285 -3
1 Alice Chen 68 -4
T7 Taylor Totland 71 -1
T18 Haylee Harford 73 +1
T18 Natalie Srinivasan 73 +1
T42 Reona Hirai 75 +3
T18 Carly Burkhardt* 73 +1
*-playing as an individual