KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Furman senior Valentina Romero (-2) fired a 70 Sunday to tie for third place individually and vault the Paladins into third place in the opening round of play at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at the par 72, 5,972 yards Turtle Point Golf Course in Kiawah Island, S.C.
Romero made the turn at one-over then birdied three holes on the back to finish the day three strokes behind leader Nadine White (-3) of Campbell, who carded a 67 in Sunday's opening round.
Campbell (-2) holds a one-stroke lead over Kennesaw State (-1). The Paladins (E) carded an even 288 in Sunday's round to place third, two strokes ahead of Illinois (+2) and Xavier (+2), who are tied for fourth.
"Today was a perfect day for golf with almost no wind, as the scores indicate," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program. "We had three solid under-par scores from Alice, Haylee, and Valentina. I think we have put ourselves in good position and hope to continue our strong play tomorrow."
Paladin sophomore Alice Chen (-1) and freshman Haylee Harford (-1) are tied for eleventh entering Monday's round. Chen recorded back-to-back birdies on No. 5 and 6 then added two additional birdies on the back to finish the round at one under, while Harford made the turn at two under after carding two birdies on the front then added an additional birdie on No. 18.
Junior Taylor Totland (+4) is tied for 61st after notching a team-high five birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 8 and 9, to register a 76, and sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+8) shot an 80 with a birdie on No. 5 to tie for 81st entering the second round.
Furman will tee off of No. 10 Monday beginning at 9:30 a.m. to open the second round play. The 54-hole tournament will conclude on Tuesday with an 8:45 a.m. shotgun start. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
3 Furman 288 E
T3 Valentina Romero 70 -2
T11 Alice Chen 71 -1
T11 Haylee Harford 71 -1
T61 Taylor Totland 76 +4
T81 Jacqueline Bendrick 80 +8