HANAHAN, S.C. - Senior Haylee Harford (-8) fired a final-round 63, establishing a new Paladin low round record and leading No. 8 Furman (-11) to a fourth-place finish at the 15th Annual Cougar Classic at the par 72, 2,261 yard Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, S.C. Due to the approach of Hurricane Florence and the mandatory evacuation of the South Carolina coast, Tuesday's round has been canceled and the tournament shortened to 36 holes.
Harford, a native of Leavittsburg, Ohio, played flawless golf, birdieing her first four holes and adding an additional birdie on No. 8 to make the turn at 5-under. She carded an additional four birdies on the back, including consecutive birdies on No. 15 and No.16 and a final birdie on No. 18, to finish the round with a nine-under 63. The previous Paladin low round of 65 was set in 1995 by Caroline Peek in the second round of the NCAA Championship and tied last year by current junior Natalie Srinivasan in the opening round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
Harford and junior Natalie Srinivasan (-8) tied for third with a two-round total of 136, nine strokes back of individual medalist Sierra Brooks (-17) of Florida who set a tournament low round record with a 62 on Monday to finish at 65-62=127. Srinivasan carded a 69 with birdies on No. 2 and No. 16 and an eagle on the par-5 No. 18.
Senior Jacqueline Bendrick (+1) tied for 32nd after adding a 74 with birdies on No. 3 and No. 15 in the second round, while sophomore Carly Burkhardt scored a 76 with three birdies to tie for 64th. Junior Marra Burton finished in a tie for 72 after birdieing No. 12 and No. 18 for a final-round 79.
Florida (-30) led the field with a 268 on Monday to win the tournament by three strokes over Vanderbilt (-27). Arkansas (-16) finished third, followed by Furman (-11) in fourth. Florida State (-8) completed the top five.
"This is a successful start to our season," said Furman head coach Jeff Hull, who is in his third year at the helm of the Paladin program. "Finishing fourth in a strong field is always good, and shooting 11-under is a great way to start the year. I am very proud of Natalie and Haylee who tied for third at eight-under, highlighted by Haylee's school record of 63."
Furman returns home for the Lady Paladin Invitational, scheduled for Sept. 21-23 in Greenville, S.C.