The Furman Lady Paladins didn’t have to win the NCAA Regional in Tallahassee to advance to the NCAA finals. A top-six finish would be good enough to move on to the championship at Oklahoma State.
The Lady Paladins finished in third place, three shots behind the region champions from Alabama to extended their season.
“I am extremely proud of this team for a third-place finish at the regional,” said Furman head coach Jeff Hull. “It got close there a little bit, but they really persevered at the end and made a lot of birdies,” he said.
SoCon player of the year Natalie Srinivasan made sure Furman would advance to the finals. The sophomore from Spartanburg birdied the final two holes to finish in third place at 12-under par.
Jennifer Kupcho from Wake Forest was the individual medalist at 15-under par. Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson, from Lexington was second at 14-under par.
The Lady Paladins got another strong performance from Jacqueline Bendrick. The Furman senior shot three straight under par rounds to finish in a tie for 9th place at 7-under par.
“I am especially proud of Natalie and Jacqueline for third and ninth place finishes, respectively. I am really excited to go to nationals and, hopefully, make it to match play with a chance to win a national championship,” said Hull.
Alabama won the region title at 33-under par, including a 15-under par 273 in the final round. Florida State finished at 25-under par for second place.
Two other Palmetto State teams were in the field. Coastal Carolina and the College of Charleston finished in a tie for 15th.
Clemson looked to be in position to advance to the NCAA Finals for the second year in a row.
The Tigers struggled through the early part of the final round and Wake Forest caught Clemson for the last qualifying spot. Arizona shot a 6-under par final round to also move in front of Clemson.
The Tigers trailed the Deacons by one shot late in the round when Sydney Legacy dropped in a 50 foot bomb on the 17th hole to tie Wake Forrest.
The two teams played off for the sixth spot in the regional. The Decons topped the Tigers on the playoff hole by 1-shot.
As a team the Tigers finished at 5-under par. Legacy and Alice Hewson were the top Tigers in the tournament. The two golfers tied for 16th place individually at 3-under par.
In San Francisco, the Gamecocks were not able to mount a charge up the leader board.
USC finished the tournament with an even par final round. South Carolina moved up two spots to finish 10th in the region but missed advancing to the finals.
The NCAA Women’s finals will be played in Stillwater, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State starting on May 18th.
Complete scores are available at http://www.golfstat.com.