HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Freshman Haylee Harford (+5) carded her second-consecutive round of 72 Sunday to finish in a tie for ninth and lead the 27th-ranked Furman women's golf team at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at the par 71, 6,243 yard Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, S.C.
Harford, a native of Leavittsburg, Ohio, was one over on the back then birdied the par-5 No. 5 to finish the day one shot over par, just five strokes behind individual medalist Cheyenne Knight of Alabama, who carded a 67-74-72=213 for the win.
Junior Taylor Totland (+8) finished strong, recording three birdies for a one-under 70 on Sunday, to tie for 23rd place. Senior Valentina Romero (+14) birdied No. 6 for a 75 on Sunday, tying for 52nd, while sophomore Alice Chen (+21) tied Totland for a team-best three birdies in the final round. She carded a 76 to tie for 80th place. Sophomore Reona Hirai (+23) shot a 78 with a birdie on No. 4 and tied for 84th.
The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate featured seven teams ranked in the top 25 in the latest Golfstat poll, including each of the country's top five programs. Eleven of the 17 teams competing qualified for the 2015 NCAA Championships, and eight schools in the field have won a tournament this season.
No. 4 Alabama (+15) won the tournament by seven strokes over 32nd-ranked Virginia (+23). No. 2 Duke (+26) finished third, while 10th-ranked Oklahoma State (+27) was fourth, and No. 45 North Carolina (+29) rounded out the top five. Top-ranked Southern California (+35) tied for eighth, and the Paladins (+46) finished 12th.
"It was good to end on a strong note today with one of the best rounds of the day," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program. "The girls hung in there and we were able to move up the leaderboard. Haylee had a great tournament with a top 10 finish, and Taylor came back strong and ended up with decent finish, too."
The Paladins will compete at the 3M Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate in Augusta, Ga., March 11-13.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
12 Furman 303 302 293 898 +46
T9 Haylee Harford 74 72 72 218 +5
T23 Taylor Totland 76 75 70 221 +8
T52 Valentina Romero 77 75 75 227 +14
T80 Alice Chen 76 82 76 234 +21
T84 Reona Hirai 78 80 78 236 +23