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Paladins Second, Chen Second At Clemson Invitational

Alice Chen
Alice Chen

LAKE KEOWEE, S.C. -- Sophomore Alice Chen (-6) fired a four-under 68 to tie for second and lead the 33rd-ranked Furman women's golf team to a second-place finish at the Clemson Invitational at the par-72, 6,263 yard The Reserve at Lake Keowee. 

The Paladins (-2), who led the field with a 285 on Sunday, placed second by one stroke to eighth-ranked Florida (-3).  No. 46 Michigan State (E) was third, followed by 42nd-ranked Vanderbilt (+1).  Host Clemson (+17), ranked 47th nationally, rounded out the top five.

Furman placed four players among the top 22 individuals, including Chen, who carded five birdies on Sunday with consecutive birdies on No. 17 and No. 18 to end the round.  Chen finished the tournament two strokes back of individual medalist Katie Sharp (-8) of Michigan State, who carded a three-round 68-70-70=208 for the win.

Junior Taylor Totland (-3) birdied No. 4 and No. 8 for an even 72 to tie for sixth, while sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+2) carded a 71 with four birdies, including back-to-back birdies on No. 13 and 14, tying for 12th.  Freshman Haylee Harford (+5) shot a 74 in Sunday's round with birdies on No. 11 and No. 15 to tie for 22nd.

Senior Valentina Romero (+9) birdied No. 12 and No. 13 for a final-round 74, tying for 45th along with sophomore Reona Hirai (+11), who played as an individual.  Hirai carded a one-over 73 on Sunday, scoring birdies on No. 2 and No. 15.

Furman was joined in the 14-team field by Boston College, #46 Clemson, #8 Florida, #34 Augusta, #28 Houston, Kennesaw State, #47 Michigan State, Oklahoma, #19 Tennessee, #32 Texas A&M, UNC Wilmington, #42 Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech.

"When you have four players finish among the top 22, it has been a successful weekend," said Furman women's golf head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program.  "I couldn't be more proud of the girls.  While it is disappointing to not come out on top, it was nice to be in contention right to the very end."

Furman will compete at the Southern Conference Championship in Savannah, Ga., April 10-12.

Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information


2 Furman 288 289 285 862 -2

T2 Alice Chen 73 69 68 210 -6

T6 Taylor Totland 69 72 72 213 -3

T12 Jacqueline Bendrick 73 74 71 218 +2

T22 Haylee Harford 73 74 74 221 +5

T45 Valentina Romero 75 78 74 227 +11

*T45 Reona Hirai 75 79 73 227 +11

*-playing as an individual