LUBBOCK, Texas -- The tenth-ranked Furman (-1) women's golf team advanced to the NCAA Championship after turning in a second-place finish Wednesday in the final round of the NCAA Lubbock Regional at the par-72, 6,593 yard The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas.
The Paladins, who are making their 18th appearance at the NCAA Championship, were part of an 18-team regional field that battled for a top six finish and a berth in the 24-team NCAA Championship, which will be held May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Furman placed 20th at last year's NCAA Championship in Eugene, Ore.
Furman scored 23 birdies in the final round, becoming one of only three teams at all four of the NCAA regional sites to finish under par for the tournament, and placed four players among the top-25 individuals.
Freshman Natalie Srinivasan (-4) fired a final-round 69 with six birdies, including five on the front nine, to tie for fifth with sophomore Haylee Harford (-4) who added a 71 with four birdies on Wednesday. The Paladin duo finished four strokes back of Arizona State's Monica Vaughn (-8), who won individual medalist honors with a three-day total of 71-68-69=208.
Senior Taylor Totland (+4) and junior Alice Chen (+4) tied for 25th. Totland carded a 70 with six birdies, including three-straight from No. 14 through No. 16, while Chen added a 72 with three birdies in the final round. Freshman Carly Burkhardt (+10) scored a 71 with four birdies to tie for 53rd.
Seventh-ranked Arizona State (-22) was 16-under on Wednesday to win the tournament by 21 strokes. The Paladins placed second, followed by No. 47 Oregon (+3) in third and eighteenth-ranked Texas (+5) in fourth. Host Texas Tech (+9), which ranks 34th nationally, took fifth place, and 15th-ranked Kent State (+11) finished sixth, becoming the final team to advance.
"This team never ceases to amaze me," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull, the 2017 SoCon Coach of the Year. "They really played great the last two rounds and showed just how great they are. I am so proud of them and all they have done this season. I am very excited to be heading to Chicago for the national championship, where I feel like we have a great chance to do well."
Furman, which secured the Southern Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by capturing its 16th SoCon Championship last month at the Country Club of Lexington in Lexington, S.C., made its third-consecutive and 20th overall NCAA Regional appearance. The Paladins appeared in 17-straight regionals from 1993, when the regional format began, until 2010. Furman finished fourth last season at the NCAA Bryan Regional to secure a trip to the national championship.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
2 Furman 300 283 280 863 -1
T5 Natalie Srinivasan 74 70 68 212 -4
T5 Haylee Harford 72 69 71 212 -4
T25 Alice Chen 75 73 72 220 +4
T25 Taylor Totland 79 71 70 220 +4
T53 Carly Burkhardt 80 75 71 226 +10