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No. 8 Furman Wins Fourth-Straight SoCon Championship

No. 8 Furman Wins Fourth-Straight SoCon Championship

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Eighth-ranked Furman (+33) won its fourth-straight Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship Tuesday at the par-72, 6,105 yard Moss Creek Golf Club's South Course on Hilton Head Island, S.C. 

With the win, the Paladins, who captured their 17th league title, clinched the SoCon's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, which will be held May 7-9.  The NCAA field will be announced live on the Golf Channel beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25.

The Paladins placed all five players among the top eight, including senior Reona Hirai (+6), who carded a 73 with birdies on No. 1 and No. 13 to win individual medalist honors.  Sophomore Natalie Srinivasan (+10), the 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year, finished as runner up after notching a 74 with three birdies on Tuesday.  

Senior Alice Chen (+11) and junior Haylee Harford (+11) tied for third.  Chen, who was honored as the 2016 SoCon Co-Player of the Year, scored a 74 with a birdie on No. 16, and Harford, the 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year and the 2017 SoCon Pinnacle Award winner, added a 73 with three birdies in the final round. 

Senior Jacqueline Bendrick (+16) recorded a 76 with a birdie on No. 16 to finish in eighth place. Bendrick was the recipient of the 2018 SoCon Pinnacle Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA on the championship team.  A biology major, she boasts a 3.973 grade point average. 

Due to the SoCon tiebreaker process, Chattanooga (+67) claimed second overall, while Mercer (+67), took third place.

"I'm proud of this team and how the players responded under such windy conditions this week,"  said Furman head coach Jeff Hull.  "I am especially proud of Reona, who achieved her first individual win, and Jacqueline, who has worked especially hard in the classroom over the past four years.  Now it is time to prepare for the post season, beginning with the NCAA Regionals."

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information

 

2018 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship

Moss Creek Golf Club - South Course

Par-72, 6,105 yards

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

 

1 Furman 301 302 294 897 +33

1 Reona Hirai 75 74 73 222 +6

2 Natalie Srinivasan 74 78 74 226 +10

T3 Alice Chen 77 76 74 22 +11

T3 Haylee Harford 80 74 73 227 +11

8 Jacqueline Bendrick 75 81 76 232 +16

 

Team standings                                               R1        R1        R3        Total

1.     Furman                                                      301       302       294       897 (+33)

2.     Chattanooga                                              308       317       306       931 (+67)

3.     Mercer                                                       307       318       306       931 (+67)

4.     Samford                                                    319       327       306       952 (+88)

5.     UNCG                                                       326       320       318       964 (+100)

6.     ETSU                                                        323       328       315       965 (+101)

7.     Wofford                                                    330       328       321       979 (+115)

8.     The Citadel                                                349       350       340       1039 (+175)

9.     Western Carolina                                        375       341       348       1064 (+200)

 

2018 SoCon Individual Champion

Reona Hirai, Furman

 

2018 Pinnacle Award Recipient

Jacqueline Bendrick, Furman