SUNSET, S.C. -- The seventh-ranked Furman women's golf team is tied for first following the opening round of play Friday at the Clemson Invitational at the par 72, 6,260 yard The Reserve at Lake Keowee in Sunset, S.C.
The Paladins (-11), who scored an opening-round 277, tied the program low round record which was set last fall at the Annika Invitational and placed all four counting scorers in the top 13. Furman notched 25 birdies on the day, including seven birdies in the last three holes.
Senior Reona Hirai (-5), a native of Summerville, S.C., fired a career-best 67 with six birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 11 and No. 12, to finish the round tied for second, one stroke behind leader Sarah Burnham of Michigan State (-6) who carded a 66 in round one.
Sophomore Natalie Srinivasan (-3) is tied for sixth after scoring a 69 with six birdies on Friday. She recorded back-to-back birdies on No. 2 and No. 3 and again on No. 6 and No. 7, then she finished the round with consecutive birdies on No. 16 and No. 17.
Senior Alice Chen (-2) paced the Paladins with seven birdies on Friday for an opening-round 70. She enters Saturday's second round tied for 10th, while senior Jacqueline Bendrick (-1) carded a 71 with three birdies to tie for 15th. Junior Haylee Harford (E) scored an even 72 with three birdies and is tied for 23rd after one round of play.
Sophomore Marra Burton played as an individual, along with freshmen Caitlin Cotterill and Madison Moosa. Burton (+4) tallied a 76 with a birdie on No. 1 to tie for 61st, while Cotterill (+6) and Moosa (+6) are tied for 72nd after each shot a 78 on Friday.
The Paladins (-11) are tied for the lead with No. 11 Michigan State (-11). No. 45 Ohio State (-8) is in third, followed by 35th-ranked Clemson (-5) in fourth place. No. 30 Vanderbilt (-2) completes the top five.
The 54-hole tournament will continue on Saturday. Teams will tee off of No. 1 beginning at 8 a.m. The Paladins will tee off beginning at 11:18 a.m. and play in a group with Michigan State and Ohio State. The tournament will conclude on Sunday. Results and live tournament scoring are available via http://www.FurmanPaladins.com and http://www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
T1 Furman 277 -11
T2 Reona Hirai 67 -5
T6 Natalie Srinivasan 69 -3
T10 Alice Chen 70 -2
T15 Jacqueline Bendrick 71 -1
T23 Haylee Harford 72 E
T61 Marra Burton* 76 +4
T72 Caitlin Cotterill* 78 +6
T72 Madison Moosa* 78 +6
*-playing as an individual