Greenville, S.C. -- Furman's Taylor Totland (-7) captured individual medalist honors with a final round 71 and the Paladins (-4) fired a four-under par, 860 over three rounds to claim the Lady Paladin Invitational title on Tuesday at the par-72, 6,266-yard Furman University Golf Course.
"I'm absolutely overwhelmed by the performance of this team," said Paladin head coach Kelley Hester. "Taylor's performance was extremely consistent and set the tone for our team, but it was truly a team effort. We threw out a combined 10-over par for three rounds."
Totland's three-round total of 209, the best 54-hole score in tournament history, propelled her to a five-stroke victory. Yale's Jennifer Peng finished in second place at two-under, while Allison Emery of Wake Forest claimed third place at one-under.
The Paladins' three-round total of 860 shattered the previous tournament low of 865, set by Wisconsin last season. Furman finished 22 strokes in front of second place Wake Forest (+18) with Texas Tech (+19), Florida State (+25), Yale (+28) and Kansas (+28) rounding out the top five finishers in the 18-team field.
Senior Laura DeMarco paced the Paladins in final round play with six birdies to card a two-under 70 and finish in a tie with teammates Alice Chen and Valentina Romero for seventh place. Chen shot even-par over the final round, while Romero fired a one-over 73. Totland birdied three of her first seven holes on Tuesday to shoot a three-under on the front nine and strengthen her lead.
The teams at this year's tournament participated 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.
Teams raised money by securing pledges for each birdie their team members recorded during the tournament. The Furman team raised $9,697, while the teams combined to raise over $23,800, 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 Paladin women's golf team in this endeavor, e-mail Hester at Kelley.Hester@Furman.edu.
Furman will compete at the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate in Knoxville, Tenn., October 17-19.
1 Furman 286 288 286 860 -4
1 Taylor Totland 70 68 71 209 -7
T7 Laura DeMarco 74 73 70 217 +1
T7 Alice Chen 72 73 72 217 +1
T7 Valentina Romero 70 74 73 217 +1
T31 Reona Hirai 75 77 74 226 +10
80 Macy McRaney 78 76 85 239 +23*
* playing as an individual
Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information