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Women's golf championship set to begin Sunday
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 04/13/2018
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Furman's Natalie Srinivasan was the 2017 champion
Courtesy: Furman Athletics
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The 2018 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship will be played Sunday through Tuesday at the Moss Creek Golf Club on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The athletes will play the South Course which is a par-72, measured at 6,105 yards.

Eighth-ranked Furman will be shooting for its fourth title in a row. The Paladins have captured 16 of 24 SoCon titles, dominating the 2017 tournament by 28 strokes. Chattanooga, which has five titles to its credit, all of which came at Moss Creek from 2010-14, finished second last year. Western Carolina has won five SoCon championships while former league member College of Charleston took the 2006 title.

Furman’s Natalie Srinivasan, the 2017 SoCon Freshman of the Year, paced the field in a rain-shortened 36 holes with a 5-under 139, defeating three-time runner-up and 2016 Player of the Year Alice Chen by four strokes last year. Furman claimed the top three individual spots as Taylor Totland, the 2015 SoCon Player of the Year, finished third overall with a 1-over-par 145. Srinivasan enters the 2018 SoCon Championship as the top-ranked golfer in the league, ranked No. 22 nationally according to GolfStat. Furman’s Haylee Harford enters the tournament ranked No. 44 while Chen, who placed first at the Moon Golf Invitational in February, is No. 51 overall. As a team, Furman leads the SoCon with a 289.54 stroke average

ETSU’s Loy Hee Ying, the 2017 Player of the Year, enters in stroke average of 71.95 while Srinivasan is averaging 72.12 strokes. ETSU is slotted fifth in the SoCon in team stroke average (301.79) with its highest finish coming at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, in which the Bucs placed second overall. Ying’s best individual finish came at the Johnie Imes Invitational, where the junior posted a 6-under-par 210 to finish third.

UNCG, led by Tara Bettle and Louisa Tichy, who are 11th and 15th in the league, respectively, is second in the SoCon with a stroke average of 298.71. Chattanooga is slotted third with a team average of 300.85 while Mercer is fourth, averaging 301.04. Wofford is slated behind ETSU while Samford, Western Carolina and The Citadel round out the field.

Chattanooga, ranked No. 74 by GolfStat, is led by seniors Monica San Juan, Cristina Perez and Megan Woods. San Juan finished the 2017 championship tied for fourth, while Perez ended in a tie for sixth place. San Juan finished tied for second in this season’s Reynolds Lake Oconee Individual and the Moon Golf Invitational. Woods was the individual medalist at the 2016 SoCon Championship after winning a five-hole playoff against Furman’s Chen.

In the fall, Mercer took home the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship title, besting the field of 11 participants. Payton Schanen, who tied for first at Idle Hour, has the eighth-best SoCon stroke average while teammate Terese Romeo ranks 10th.

Wofford closed the spring season strong with a pair of top-10 finishes. The team’s best finish came on April 2 in the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate in which the Terriers finished fourth overall. Samford, Western Carolina and The Citadel’s top finishes this season were seventh, ninth and third, respectively.

The Paladins have produced a league-best 15 individual medalists, while Chattanooga has five and Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Western Carolina and UNCG own one each.

The winner of the 25th edition of the SoCon Championship will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The NCAA field will be announced live on the Golf Channel at 5:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 25.

The SoCon tournament tees off at 8 a.m. Sunday. Live stats can be found at https://www.birdiefire.com/tournament/46311/.

-www.SoConSports.com-

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