TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- Sophomore Alice Chen (+1) posted a final round 73 to tie for fifth and lead the 33rd-ranked Furman women's golf team to a third-place finish Sunday at 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., scored three birdies on the back to finish the day six strokes back of individual medalist Maddie Szeryk (-3) of Texas A&M, who fired a 70 on Sunday to win the tournament with a 69-72-70=211 score.
Paladin senior Valentina Romero (+8) notched two birdies for a 76 on Sunday, tying for 21st, while rookie Haylee Harford (+11) finished in a tie for 29th after shooting a 78 with a birdie on No. 3 in the final round. Sophomore Reona Hirai (+12) recorded three-straight birdies on No. 4, 5, and 6, and added an additional birdie on No. 18 for a 75 on Sunday and finished tied for 33rd.
Host Florida State (+7), ranked 34th nationally, regained the lead for the win on Sunday after posting a field-best 285. No. 44 South Carolina (+11) took second place, followed by the Paladins (+26) in third. Furman defeated four teams ranked higher than the Paladins in the latest Golfweek rankings: 17th-ranked Texas A&M (+34), who finished fifth; 25th-ranked Missouri (+36), who concluded the tournament in seventh; 18th-ranked Tennessee (+41), the eighth place finisher; and No. 19 Virginia (+45), who finished ninth.
"We did not have our best day today, but we were able to hold onto third place in a strong field," said Furman head coach Kelley Hester, who is in her fourth year at the helm of the Paladin program. "We made lots of birdies over the three days and got off to a good start for the spring."
Furman will compete at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate March 4-6 in Hilton Head, S.C.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
3rd Furman 298 290 302 890 +26
T5 Alice Chen 73 71 73 217 +1
T21 Valentina Romero 76 72 76 224 +8
T29 Haylee Harford 77 72 78 227 +11
T33 Reona Hirai 76 77 75 228 +12
T36 Taylor Totland 73 75 81 229 +13
*T39 Jacqueline Bendrick 77 77 76 230 +14
*-playing as an individual