MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- No. 16 Furman (+18) won the team title and sophomore Haylee Harford (-1) tied for individual medalist honors Tuesday in the final round of the Minnesota Invitational at the par 72, 6,119 yard Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minn.
The Paladins entered the day tied for fifth place and led the field with a two-under 286 to surge into a tie for first with Purdue (+18). Furman was deemed the champion based on a head-to-head comparison of the fifth player's score for each team. Texas (+27), who held a one-stroke lead after Monday's two rounds of play finished third, while Wisconsin (+28) was fourth, and TCU (+31) completed the top-five.
Harford, who hails from Leavittsburg, Ohio, played flawless golf on Tuesday, firing a 68 with a team-high four birdies to tie for individual medalist honors with Isabelle Johansson (-1) of Kentucky. The duo had a two-stroke advantage on the rest of the field with a two-day total of 215.
Furman junior Alice Chen (+2) also put together a flawless round on Tuesday to tie for fifth place. Chen finished the day with a one-under 71 after birdieing No. 17. Junior Taylor Totland (+8) carded a 74 with two birdies on the back to tie for 17th, and rookie Natalie Srinivasan (+14) scored a one-over 73 to tie for 36th. Srinivasan posted three birdies in the final round, including back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and No. 16. Junior Jacqueline Bendrick (+15) tied for 38th after birdieing No. 2 to score a 79.
Junior Reona Hirai (+8), who played as an individual, tied for 17th with a final-round 75. Hirai carded consecutive birdies on No. 9 and No. 10 in Tuesday's final round.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," said Paladin head coach Jeff Hull, who is in his first year at the helm of the Furman program. "We didn't play our best golf yesterday, but we hung in there to be in contention. We always preach being in the hunt with 9 holes to play, and that's right where we were today. Our girls were so clutch today, shooting two-under par. Everyone contributed, especially at the end. Haley birdied her last hole to shoot -4 and capture her first individual title. What a great start to the year!"
The Paladins return home to compete in the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C., Sept. 23-25.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 299 297 286 882 +18
T1 Haylee Harford 75 72 68 215 -1
T5 Alice Chen 74 73 71 218 +2
T17 Taylor Totland 74 76 74 224 +8
T36 Natalie Srinivasan 81 76 73 230 +14
T38 Jacqueline Bendrick 76 76 79 231 +15
*T17 Reona Hirai 75 74 75 224 +8
*-playing as an individual