GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman women's golf team (-7) leads the field by one stroke following the first round of the 44th Lady Paladin Invitational at the par-72, 6,313-yard Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
The Paladins scored an opening round 281, tying both the tournament record and the Furman program record for lowest single round score. Middle Tennessee State (-6) is in second, followed by Texas (-5) in third. Illinois (-2) and Missouri (-1) round out the top five.
All four of Furman's counting scorers placed in the top 17, with freshman Natalie Srinivasan (-3), a native of Spartanburg, S.C., pacing the Paladins with an opening round 69. Srinivasan posted four birdies on the day, including three on the back nine, to finish the round four strokes back of leader Emily Hoffman (-7) of Texas, who fired a 65 to set a new tournament single round record.
Junior Alice Chen (-2) and sophomore Haylee Harford (-2) are tied for seventh heading into Saturday's second round. Chen carded four birdies while Harford added three birdies, as each fired a 70 in Friday's play. Senior Taylor Totland (E) is tied for 17th after shooting an even 72 with three birdies. Junior Reona Hirai (+4), who is playing as an individual, had two birdies to score a 76 on Friday.
"I am very happy with the way the team played today," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull, who is in his first year at the helm of the Paladin program. "It is nice to get off to a fast start, but scoring conditions were very good today, so we will have to keep up our good play to stay ahead."
Second round play is set to tee off at 9 a.m. on Saturday with final round play slated for Sunday at 8 a.m. Furman will tee off of No. 1 at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome. Results and live tournament scoring are available via www.FurmanPaladins.com and www.birdiefire.com.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
1 Furman 281 -7
T4 Natalie Srinivasan 69 -3
T7 Alice Chen 70 -2
T7 Haylee Harford 70 -2
T17 Taylor Totland 72 E
T30 Carly Burkhardt 73 +1
T58 Reona Hirai* 76 +4
* - playing as an individual