HANAHAN, S.C. -- Furman (-10) fired a 278, the best round in program history, and surged into the lead with six birdies over the last two holes Sunday in the opening round of the Cougar Classic at the Par 72, 6,224 yard Yeamans Hall in Hanahan, S.C.
The Paladins, who entered the final three holes of play tied for first with North Carolina (-7), placed three players in the top six, including sophomore Haylee Harford (-5) who fired a 67 to place second following one round of play. Harford, a native of Leavittsburg, Ohio, eagled the par-5 No. 15 and added five birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 17 and 18 to conclude the round. She is one stroke back of leader Sierra Sims (-6) of Wake Forest, who recorded an opening-round 66.
Senior Taylor Totland (-3) and freshman Natalie Srinivasan (-3) each carded a 69 on Sunday to tie for sixth place. Totland recorded five birdies, including consecutive birdies on No. 6 & 7 and No. 10 & 11, while Srinivasan birdied the final two holes for four birdies on the day.
Junior Alice Chen (+1) and freshman Carly Burkhardt (+1) are tied for 36th after each posted a 73 in the opening round. Chen eagled the par-5 No. 15 and scored three additional birdies, while Burkhardt also notched three birdies, with back-to-back birdies on No. 13 and No. 14.
The Paladins, who broke the previous program record of 281, set in 2015 at the Seminole Match-Up and tied last weekend at the Lady Paladin Invitational, hold a three-stroke lead over North Carolina, while Wake Forest (-6) is in third. Auburn (-4) and UCF (-4) are tied for fourth, and N.C. State (-3) and Michigan (-3) are tied for sixth. Florida State (-2) stands in eighth place, and Maryland (E) and South Carolina (E) enter Monday's round tied for ninth.
"We, obviously, had a great round today, and I am very proud of the team," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull, who is in his first year at the helm of the Paladin program. "We played steady all day but caught fire coming in. We had 13 birdies and two eagles on the back nine. There is a lot of golf left to play, but we are excited about the start."
The 54-hole tournament will continue Monday at 8 a.m. and will conclude on Tuesday with a 9 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
1 Furman 278 -10
2 Haylee Harford 67 -5
T6 Taylor Totland 69 -3
T6 Natalie Srinivasan 69 -3
T36 Alice Chen 73 +1
T36 Carly Burkhardt 73 +1