By Sammy Clough, Columnist
The Furman Women’s golf team opened their spring season in impressive fashion this weekend after a second-place finish in the Puerto Rico Classic.
The Puerto Rico Classic, held at Rio Mar Country Club River Course in Rio Grande, provided a great opportunity for team bonding away from the daily grind of classes. The team was able to spend quality time together in Rio Grande’s resort setting while also re-adjusting to the fierce competition of the strong field of schools in the tournament.
The Paladins were led by sophomore star Haylee Harford, who finished with a tie for first after shooting 70, 69 and 76 to finish one under par for the tournament.
Harford, the 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year, will look to carry the success of the first tournament deep into the season.
“Every tournament is preparation for the postseason,” Harford said, “We can use every experience to help us late in the season.”
In an impressive team effort, the Paladins finished just one stroke below tournament champion, NC State. Strong contributions from senior Taylor Totland and junior Alice Chen were crucial in the late rounds of the tournament. Totland finished just one stroke below the leaders and had an impressive four birdies on the back nine in the final round of the weekend.
Going into the tournament, the women’s golf team was ranked number eight in the nation, and the Paladins will look to rely on strong team play from top to bottom as they strive to continue their success on the national level.
Harford and the Paladins look to further improve on their impressive start to the season, as they travel to Port St. Lucie, Florida on Feb. 20 to compete in the Central District Invitational. The Paladins will also be in action on Mar. 3-5 in Hilton Head, SC in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate tournament.