POOLER, Ga. – Day-one leader Furman lowered the tournament single-round record for a second straight day with a 4-under 284 Monday to extend its lead to nine shots after two rounds of competition at the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship at the par-72, 6,050-yard Savannah Quarters. The Paladins’ Taylor Totland and Alice Chen share the individual lead at 4-under-par 140. Samford’s Bailey Gray matched the tournament single-round record with a 4-under 68 Monday.
All five Furman players are currently in the top 15 in the individual standings, with Totland and Chen leading the way. Totland, the No. 24-ranked golfer nationally, shot a 3-under 69 Monday to jump two spots into the lead. The sophomore from Tinton Falls, N.J., bookended her day with birdies on Nos. 1 and 18, adding birdies on 4, 10 and 15. The 2014 SoCon runner-up shot a 1-under 71 in Sunday’s first round.
Chen, who shared the first-round lead with Mercer freshman Hannah Mae Deems, fired her second straight 2-under 70 to remain atop the field. The freshman from Princeton, N.J., burst out of the gates with birdies on her first five holes to move to 7-under for the tournament and open up a five-stroke lead. Her bogey on the par-5 ninth was her lone blemish before the turn, but the back nine was not as kind, as she bogeyed three holes against just one birdie to see her massive lead disappear.
The Paladins’ Valentina Romero turned in a 2-under 70 of her own to vault 16 spots into a tie for seventh at 2-over 146, while Furman’s Reona Hirai and Lauren DeMarco are tied for 14th with matching 5-over 149 scores.
As a team, Furman blistered the tournament record of 289 that it set in Sunday’s first round. Prior to that, the record was 291, which was set in 2006 by College of Charleston and matched in 2013 by Furman and UNCG. After Monday’s 4-under effort, the Paladins, seeking their 14th SoCon title and first since 2009, own a two-day total of 3-under 573 to sit nine strokes clear of second-place Chattanooga (582, +6).
Deems turned in a 1-under 71 Monday to sit in a tie for third place at 3-under 141, while Chattanooga’s Emily McLennan – the defending SoCon individual medalist – matched Totland’s 3-under 69 to claim a share of third with Deems. McLennan made the turn at 1-over but birdied four holes on a flawless back nine charge up two spots.
McLennan’s teammate Agathe Sauzon, the 2013 SoCon champion, also moved up two spots Monday, shooting a 1-under 71 to move to even-par 144.
The five-time defending SoCon champion Mocs also eclipsed Furman’s day-old tournament record for a single round, combining for an even-par 288. Samford came in under the old record, turning in a 2-over 290 to jump one spot into third in the team race.
Gray had a lot to do with that, as the senior was the day’s biggest mover along with Wofford’s Lauren Dunbar, as each moved up 18 spots in the individual standings. Gray finished in a tie for fifth, while Dunbar moved into a tie for 14th.
Gray moved to even-par 144 with her 68, birdieing the opening three holes as well as Nos. 11-13 and 18. Her stellar round matched the tournament record first set in 1994 by Furman’s Caroline Peek and last done by UNCG’s Fanny Cnops in 2013. Gray becomes just the seventh women’s golfer to shoot at 68 at the SoCon Championship.
ETSU’s Dominki Czudkova, Western Carolina’s Kim Mitchell and Wofford’s Lela Oakley round out the top 10, each sitting tied for seventh at 2-over 146.
As a team, Wofford moved up one spot into fourth with a 5-over 293 Monday. The Terriers are at 595 after 36 holes. ETSU (303-296=599), Western Carolina (298-302=600), Mercer (305-306=611), UNCG (313-307=620) and The Citadel (326-323=649) round out the field.
The 54-hole tournament will conclude Tuesday, with the winner earning the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The Citadel, UNCG and Mercer will tee off at 8 a.m. from No. 10, while Wofford, ETSU and Western Carolina will go from No. 1 at 8. Furman, Chattanooga and Samford will go from No. 1 at 8:50.
Live stats can be found at www.golfstatresults.com and will be updated every three holes.
2015 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship
Par-72, 6,050 yards
Top 10 individuals
Pl Player, team R1 R2 Total
T1 Taylor Totland, Furman 71 69 140
T1 Alice Chen, Furman 70 70 140
T3 Hannah Mae Deems, Mercer 70 71 141
T3 Emily McLennan, Chattanooga 72 69 141
T5 Bailey Gray, Samford 76 68 144
T5 Agathe Sauzon, Chattanooga 73 71 144
T7 Dominika Czudkova, ETSU 75 71 146
T7 Lela Oakley, Wofford 73 73 146
T7 Valentina Romero, Furman 76 70 146
T7 Kim Mitchell, Western Carolina 72 74 146
Pl Team R1 R2 Total
1 Furman 289 284 573
2 Chattanooga 294 288 582
3 Samford 299 290 589
4 Wofford 302 293 595
5 ETSU 303 296 599
6 Western Carolina 298 302 600
7 Mercer 305 306 611
8 UNCG 313 307 620
9 The Citadel 326 323 649