Furman’s Taylor Totland advances to final round of stroke play at NCAA Championships


Junior Taylor Totland (+1) fired a 69 Sunday to advance to Monday’s final round of stroke play at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at the par 72, 6,369 yard Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.  The 19th-ranked Paladins (+24) finished the day in 20th place.

Totland, who earned All-American honorable mention accolades in 2015, notched three birdies, including two in her last three holes, to finish Sunday’s round  in a tie for 24th.  Duke’s Virginia Elena Carta (-13) leads the field after carding a 66 on Sunday. She was the sixth-highest individual not on an advancing team.

Freshman Haylee Harford (+5), the 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year, birdied No. 14, carded a one-over 73 with birdies on No. 1 and No. 14 to tie for 58th, and sophomore Alice Chen (+9), the 2016 SoCon Co-Player of the Year, birdied No. 10 and No. 17 to tie for 90th with a 76 on Sunday.

Sophomore Jacqueline Bendrick (+11) and senior Valentina Romero (+11) tied for 100th.  Bendrick scored three birdies, including back-to-back birdies on No. 15 and No. 16, to card a 75, and Romero added a 76 with a birdie on No. 5.

No. 2 Southern California (-4) remains in the team lead entering Monday’s round.  No. 3 UCLA (-2) and fifth-ranked Duke (-2) are tied for second, while 13th-ranked Washington is in fourth.  No. 12 Stanford completes the top five.

“While we fell short of the top eight for match play, I couldn’t be more proud of this group of girls and the progress our program has made in the four years that (assistant coach) Jeff (Hull) and I have been at Furman,” said head coach Kelley Hester, the 2016 SoCon Coach of the Year.

“We have a young team, graduating only one senior, and strong talent coming in over the next several years.  A top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships shows that our program is headed in the right direction.”

Furman was part of a 24-team field that played under the NCAA Championship’s revised format, which was instituted last year.  The teams played 54 holes of stroke play over the course of three days, concluding with Sunday’s round. The top 15 teams moved on to one additional round of stroke play on Monday.

The top eight teams at the end of Monday’s round move into the match-play single elimination bracket. Tuesday will feature the quarterfinals and semifinals, and the finals will be played Wednesday.

Above: Taylor Totland is congratulated by assistant coach Jeff Hull. Story and photo via FurmanPaladins.com.