STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Senior Alice Chen (+3) notched an even 72 Sunday to finish the morning wave in a tie for 19th in the third round of the 2018 NCAA Championships at the par-72, 6,328 yard Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. The seventh-ranked Paladins (+35) are in the clubhouse in a tie for 12th place with 12 teams still out on the course. The top 15 teams advance to Monday's final round of stroke play.
Chen, a native of Princeton, N.J., started on No. 10 and scored birdies on No. 12 and No. 14, making the turn at one-under. She added an additional birdie on No. 1, finishing the round at even par. Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest (-8) leads Alabama's Cheyenne Knight (-7) by one stroke in the individual race, with eight holes to play, 11 strokes ahead of Chen. The top 9 individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to Mondays' final round of stroke play, where an individual champion will be crowned.
Sophomore Natalie Srinivasan (+9) carded a 74 with a birdie on No. 11 on Sunday, finishing the round tied for 53rd, and senior Reona Hirai (+11) also scored a 74 with three birdies to tie for 67th. Junior Haylee Harford (+13) added the Paladins' third 74 of the round, finishing play tied for 81st. Senior Jacqueline Bendrick (+19) tallied a 78 with birdies on No. 9 and No. 18 to tie for 108th.
Following the morning wave of teams, top-ranked Alabama (-2) had overtaken No. 3 UCLA (+6) by eight strokes. Ninth-ranked Arizona (+16) is third, followed by No. 13 Northwestern (+18) in fourth, and sixth-ranked Southern California (+21) in fifth. No. 4 Duke (+25) is sixth entering Monday's round, while No. 5 Stanford (+26) ranks seventh. No. 16 Kent State (+27), which joins Furman as the only other non-Power 5 team in the field, is currently eighth. The top eight teams will advance to match play following Monday's round.
The Paladins are part of a 24-team field which is playing under the NCAA Championship's revised format, which was instituted in 2015. The teams played 54 holes of stroke play over the course of three days, which began Friday and continued through Sunday. The top 15 teams will play one additional round of stroke play on Monday. The top eight teams at the end of Monday's round will move into the match-play single elimination bracket. Tuesday will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals, and the finals will be played Wednesday afternoon.
Furman, which secured the Southern Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by capturing its 17th SoCon Championship last month at Moss Creek Country Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C., finished third last week at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional to earn a berth at the NCAA Championship. The Paladins finished 12th at least season's NCAA Championship in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Live scoring of the NCAA Championships will be available at http://www.golfstat.com or by logging onto http://www.furmanpaladins.com. The Golf Channel will provide unprecedented prime time coverage of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships. Twelve and a half hours of live event programming will be shown starting on Monday and concluding with the match play finals on Wednesday afternoon.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
T12 Furman 312 293 294 899 +35
T19 Alice Chen 73 74 72 219 +3
T53 Natalie Srinivasan 79 72 74 225 +9
T67 Reona Hirai 78 75 74 227 +11
T81 Haylee Harford 83 72 74 229 +13
T109 Jacqueline Bendrick 82 75 78 236 +19