GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Senior Alice Chen (-2) fired an opening round 70 to tie for second, landing the Furman women's golf team (-5) in third place Friday at the 45th-annual Lady Paladin Invitational at the par-72, 6,278-yard Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
Chen, who hails from Princeton, N.J., eagled the par-four No. 12 and added a birdie on No. 15 to finish the round at two-under, six strokes back of leader Jiwon Jeon (-8) of Daytona State, who set a new tournament single-round record with a 64 on Friday. The previous record of 65 was set by Emilee Hoffman of Texas in 2016.
Junior Haylee Harford (-1) is tied for sixth after carding a 71 with a team-high three birdies on Friday, while senior Jacqueline Bendrick (+4) and sophomore Natalie Srinivasan (+4) are tied for 36th after each shot a 76 in the first round. Bendrick scored birdies on No. 1 and No. 12, and Srinivasan birdied No. 13 and No. 16 for an even back nine. Senior Reona Hirai (+5) carded a 77 to tie for 48th entering Saturday's second round.
Freshman Madison Moosa (+1) led all individuals, tying for 14th after one round. Moosa notched three birdies, including scoring birdies on two of three holes from No. 5 through No. 7. Rookie Caitlin Cotterill (+8) and sophomore Marra Burton (+9) are also playing as individuals. Cotterill is tied for 70th after shooting an 80 with a birdie on No. 15, and Burton scored an 81 with birdies on No. 3 and No. 15 to tie for 74th.
Daytona State (-4) led the field with a 284 on Friday, four strokes ahead of Virginia Tech (E), who is in second with an opening-round 288. The Paladins (+5) are in third, followed by Middle Tennessee State (+7) in fourth place. ETSU (+10), Kennesaw State (+10), and UNC Wilmington (+10) are all tied for fifth place entering Saturday's second round.
The second round of the 54-hole tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, with final round play slated for Sunday at 8 a.m. Furman will tee off of No. 1 beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and will play in a group with Daytona State and Virginia Tech. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Results and live tournament scoring are available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.birdiefire.com.
For the third time, the teams at this year's tournament are participating 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 [email protected].
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
3 Furman 293 +5
T2 Alice Chen 70 -2
T6 Haylee Harford 71 -1
T14 Madison Moosa* 73 +1
T36 Jacqueline Bendrick 76 +4
T36 Natalie Srinivasan 76 +4
T48 Reona Hirai 77 +5
T70 Caitlin Cotterill* 80 +8
T74 Marra Burton* 81 +9
* - playing as an individual