TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- The 26th-ranked Furman women's golf team recorded the best round in school history Sunday to win the third annual Florida State Match-Up Tournament at the par 72, 6,236 yard Southwood Golf Course in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Paladins (+12) fired a 281 in the tournament's final round, besting the former Furman record of 283 which was recorded initially at the 1995 NCAA Championships and tied last fall at the 2014 Lady Paladin Invitational, to defeat four teams ranked among the top 25. Ninth-ranked Mississippi State (+19) tied for second with #17 Virginia (+19), while #2 South Carolina (+20) took fourth place. #16 Texas A&M (+21) and Kennesaw State (+21) tied for fifth.
Furman sophomore Taylor Totland (-2), a native of Tinton Falls, N.J, carded back-to-back birdies on No. 4 & No. 5 to make the turn at one under then notched two additional birdies on the back, firing a 71 in the final round to tie for first place with Bianca Fabrizio (-2) of Texas A&M, who carded a 73 Sunday for a three-day total of 214. On the second hole of the playoff, Fabrizio clinched individual medalist honors after sinking a 40-foot birdie.
Freshman Alice Chen (+3) birdied three holes on the front to make the turn at three under and carded a 71 in the final round to tie for 11th place, while rookie Jacqueline Bendrick (+6) led the field with a 68 on Sunday after eagling No. 10 and tallying six birdies to tie for 19th. Junior Valentina Romero (+7) tied for 20th after firing a 71 with two birdies in the final round, and rookie Reona Hirai (+19) tied for 54th overall to round out the Paladin slate.
"What this group has accomplished is truly amazing," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester. "I am so proud of each one of our kids. They just keep raising the bar and are so fun to coach every day. Taylor is really a rock. She continues to just get it done on the golf course. Jacqueline shot a personal best 68 today and walked off the course saying it should have been a better round. They all contributed, and this was a true team win!"
The Paladins will compete at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head, S.C. March 6-8.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1st Furman 301 294 281 876 +12
T1 Taylor Totland 73 70 71 214 -2
T11 Alice Chen 73 75 71 219 +3
19 Jacqueline Bendrick 78 76 68 222 +6
T20 Valentina Romero 79 73 71 223 +7
T54 Reona Hirai 77 78 80 235 +19