MELBOURNE, Fla. -- The ninth-ranked Furman women's golf team holds a five-stroke lead at the Moon Golf Invitational following two rounds of play Monday at the par 72, 6,309 yard Duran Golf Club in Melbourne, Fla.
The Paladins (-1) have three players in the top nine and all four counting scorers in the top 13, including senior Alice Chen (-3) who is tied for second after posing a 70 with four birdies in the morning round and adding a team-best 71 with two birdies in the afternoon round. Chen is one stroke behind leader Madison Thomas (-4) of Memphis, who scored rounds of 69 and 71 for a two-round total of 140.
Sophomore Natalie Srinivasan (-2) is just one stroke back of Chen. In round one, she eagled the par-5 No. 1 to open the tournament and added three additional birdies, including back to back birdies on No. 15 and No. 16 to lead the Paladins with a first-round 69. Srinivasan carded a 73 with a birdie on No. 11 in the second round to finish the day tied for sixth.
Senior Jacqueline Bendrick (+1) also started play with an eagle on No. 1 in round one and added a birdie on No. 4 for an opening-round 72. She notched a team-best six birdies in the second round, including four-straight birdies on holes No. 17 through No. 2, ending the round with a 73. She enters Tuesday's final round in a tie for ninth place.
Junior Haylee Harford (+3) and sophomore Marra Burton (+3), who is playing as an individual, concluded Monday's play tied for 13th. Harford posted an even 72 with two birdies in round one and scored a 75 with a birdie on No. 1 in the afternoon, while Burton tied for a team-best four birdies in the morning round, carding a 72, and recorded five birdies and a 75 in round two.
Senior Reona Hirai (+5) is tied for 21st entering the final round after posting a 74 with a birdie on No. 11 in the morning round and a 74 with four birdies in round two. Freshman Madison Moosa (+11), who is playing as an individual, scored a 78 in the morning and a 77 with two birdies in the afternoon to tie for 54th, while rookie Caitlin Cotterill (+12), who is also playing as an individual, is one stroke back of Moosa in a tie for 59th. Cotterill shot an 81 with two birdies in the first round then recorded consecutive birdies on No. 13 and No. 14 and added a birdie on No. 18 for a second-round 75.
The Paladins hold a five-stroke lead over Augusta (+4), while Old Dominion (+10) is in third. Memphis (+11) is in fourth place, followed by Virginia Tech (+12).
The 54-hole tournament will conclude on Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8:45 a.m. The Paladins will tee off of holes No. 1 through No. 4 and will play in a group with Augusta and Old Dominion. Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Results and live tournament scoring are available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.golfstat.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 283 292 575 -1
T2 Alice Chen 70 71 141 -3
T6 Natalie Srinivasan 69 73 142 -2
T9 Jacqueline Bendrick 72 73 145 +1
T13 Haylee Harford 72 73 147 +3
T13 Marra Burton* 72 75 147 +3
T21 Reona Hirai 74 75 149 +5
T54 Madison Moosa* 78 77 155 +11
T59 Caitlin Cotterill* 81 75 156 +12
*-playing as an individual