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Furman Leads After First Round of SoCon Championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 04/12/2015
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Furman's Alice Chen
Courtesy: Southern Conference
POOLER, Ga. – Furman shot a tournament-record 289 Sunday and holds a five-stroke lead over five-time defending champion Chattanooga after 18 holes of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship at the par-72, 6,050-yard Savannah Quarters layout. The Paladins’ Alice Chen and Mercer’s Hannah Mae Deems, both freshmen, share the individual lead at 2-under 70.

Furman’s 1-over team total surpassed the single-round tournament record of 291, set by College of Charleston in 2006 and matched by the Paladins and UNCG in 2013.

Seeking its first title since 2009 and 14th overall, Furman has two players in the top three and its entire counting four in the top 11. In addition to Chen’s 2-under 70, the Paladins got a 1-under 71 from sophomore Taylor Totland, the 24th-ranked golfer nationally, who finished runner-up at last season’s tournament. Furman’s Reona Hirai and Laura DeMarco enter Monday’s second round tied for 11th at 2-over 74.

Mercer’s Deems matched Chen with five birdies on the day, shooting a consistent 1-under on each side of the course and turning in just two holes of bogey or worse. She is the only Bears player in the top 10 individually.

Chattanooga, which has won the tournament each year since 2010, combined for a 6-over 294 Sunday, overcoming a rough first nine holes that saw all five players record scores of 3-over or worse. The Mocs rebounded after the turn, with each of the counting four shooting par or better. Emily McLennan and Agathe Sauzon, the 2014 and 2013 SoCon champions, respectively, each went bogey-free and turned in three birdies on the back nine. McLennan is tied for fifth at even-par and Sauzon is one shot back in a tie for seventh.

Western Carolina has two players situated in the top five and sits third as a team, four strokes back of Chattanooga and nine back of Furman with a 10-over 298. The Catamounts were paced by Ashley Thompson’s 1-under 71, which put her in a tie for third with Furman’s Totland. Kim Mitchell sits a stroke back at even to tie for fifth with UTC’s McLennan.

Joining the Mocs’ Sauzon in a tie for seventh at 1-over are Wofford’s Lela Oakley, UNCG’s Berglind Bjornsdottir and Samford’s Emily Stallings. Stallings had the tournament’s lone eagle of the day, turning a 3 on the par-5 17th hole.

Samford is in fourth place in the team race at 11-over 299, just one stroke back of Western Carolina. Wofford sits fifth at 302, followed by ETSU (303), Mercer (305), UNCG (313) and The Citadel (326).

The second round will tee off at 8 a.m. Monday, with The Citadel, UNCG and Mercer getting things started. ETSU, Wofford and Samford follow at 8:50, and leaders Furman, Chattanooga and Western Carolina will tee off at 9:40 a.m.

Live stats can be found at and will be updated every three holes. The 54-hole tournament will conclude Tuesday, with the winner earning the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals.

2015 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship
Savannah Quarters
Par-72, 6,050 yards
Pooler, Ga.

Top 10 individuals
T1.    Hannah Mae Deems, Mercer    70
T1.    Alice Chen, Furman    70
T3.    Ashley Thompson, Western Carolina    71
T3.    Taylor Totland, Furman    71
T5.    Kim Mitchell, Western Carolina    72
T5.    Emily McLennan, Chattanooga    72
T7.    Lela Oakley, Wofford    73
T7.    Berglind Bjornsdottir, UNCG    73
T7.    Emily Stallings, Samford    73
T7.    Agathe Sauzon, Chattanooga    73

Team standings
1.    Furman    289
2.    Chattanooga    294
3.    Western Carolina    298
4.    Samford    299
5.    Wofford    302
6.    ETSU    303
7.    Mercer    305
8.    UNCG    313
9.    The Citadel    326
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