Furman To Entertain 16 Teams At 45th Lady Paladin Invitational This Weekend

Furman To Entertain 16 Teams At 45th Lady Paladin Invitational This Weekend

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman women's golf team will entertain 16 teams at the 45th Lady Paladin Invitational Golf Tournament this weekend, September 22-24, at the par-72, 6,278-yard Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.

"I am very excited to start our season at home when we host the Lady Paladin," said Jeff Hull, who is in his second year as the head coach of the Furman program.  "Last year we were young; this year we are a much more veteran team and know what to expect as we get into the season.  I hope this is a great start to our fall."

Furman will be joined in the field this year by Augusta, Chattanooga, Daytona State, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, James Madison, Kennesaw State, LSU, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, UNC Wilmington, Virginia Tech, and Western Carolina.

For the third time, the teams at this year's tournament will participate in Birdies for Water to benefit Golf Fore Africa, a 501 (c)(3) founded in 2006 by Furman golf alumna and LPGA Hall of Famer Betsy King. To date GFA has raised over 2.5 million dollars to fund projects in Rwanda, Lesotho, Kenya, Mali, Niger, and Zambia. Currently Golf Fore Africa is raising two million dollars to bring clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to over 100 villages in rural Zambia. 

Each team at the tournament has been invited to raise money by securing flat donations and pledges for each birdie their team members record during the tournament, with a goal of raising $30,000.  In 2015, teams at the Lady Paladin Invitational raised almost $30,000, with the Furman team raising over $10,000, eclipsing the tournament goal of $15,000, the amount needed to bring clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene education to one village.  

To sponsor the Furman women's golf team in this endeavor, go to https://4agc.com/fundraiser_pages/f11aee2d-5061-475b-8cc7-73c5c82827a2#.WbAaPtOGPBJ or e-mail Furman assistant coach Laura DeMarco at Laura.DeMarco@Furman.edu.

The Lady Paladin Invitational began in 1972 with Furman claiming the inaugural title and Lady Paladin Beth Solomon taking individual medalist honors.  Over the years, many of the most recognizable names in women's golf have won the tournament including Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, Sherri Turner, Donna Andrews, and Dottie Pepper.

Last season EmileeHoffman of Texas captured individual medalist honors at six-under par, and Texas claim the team title with a three-round score of 853.  Furman's Alice Chen finished second, while Taylor Totland, Haylee Harford, and Natalie Srinivasan all posted top-15 finishes to lead the Paladins to a second-place finish.  Furman's opening round score of 281 tied the lowest single round score in the history of the tournament.

The 54-hole tournament begins with opening round play at 9 a.m. on Friday.  Second round play tees off at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Sunday's final round scheduled for a shotgun start at 9 a.m.  Furman will tee-off of No. 1 beginning at 9 a.m. in first round play.  

Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome.  Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.birdiefire.com.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information