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Chen Tied For Fourth; Paladins Third Entering Final Round Of Florida State Match-Up

Alice Chen
Alice Chen

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Sophomore Alice Chen (E) fired a 71 to tie for fourth place and lead the 33rd-ranked Furman women's golf team into third place Saturday in the second round of the Florida State Match-Up Tournament at the par 72, 6,265 yard Don Veller Seminole Golf Course in Tallahassee, Fla.   

Chen, a native of Princeton, N.J., birdied six of her last 10 holes to shoot four under on the back nine.  She heads into Sunday's final round three strokes behind leader Maddie Szeryk (-3) of Texas A&M, who shot a 69 to open the tournament and added an even 72 on Saturday.

Paladin junior Taylor Totland (+4) and senior Valentina Romero (+4) each recorded three birdies in the second round to enter Sunday's final round tied for 12th place, while rookie Haylee Harford (+5) scored four birdies on the front, including back-to-back birdies on No. 8 and 9, then added two additional birdies on the back for an even 72 in the second round, tying for 19th.  

Sophomore Reona Hirai (+9) notched three birdies Saturday and is tied for 36th after two rounds, and sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+10), who is playing as an individual, is tied for 40th after posting consecutive birdies on No. 15 and 16.

#44 South Carolina (+6) surged into the lead on Saturday, shooting a three-under 285 to take a four-stroke lead over 34th-ranked Florida State (+10).  The Paladins (+12) moved up two spots to enter the final round in third place, nine strokes ahead of 38th-ranked SMU (+21) and No. 17 Texas A&M (+21), who are tied for fourth.

"I was proud of the way our team handled the cold and windy conditions today," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program.  "We made a bunch of birdies and were able to play ourselves into contention headed into the final round."

The final round of the 54-hole tournament, which features four teams ranked in the top 25 and eight teams among the top 50 in the latest Golfstat rankings, concludes on Sunday with an 8 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

3rd Furman 298 290 599 +10

T4 Alice Chen 73 71 144 E

T12 Taylor Totland 73 75 148 +4

T12 Valentina Romero 76 72 148 +4

T19 Haylee Harford 77 72 149 +5

T36 Reona Hirai 76 77 153 +9

T40 Jacqueline Bendrick 77 77 154 +10