Furman’s outstanding season came up three shots short of advancing to the Match Play round at the NCAA Women’s Championship.
The Lady Paladins finished in 11th place, three spots out of the automatic qualifying spots to compete for the team title in match play.
“I am so proud of this team for the way they played all year and especially the way they fought back from adversity this week,” said Furman head coach Jeff Hull
Furman improved on last year’s 12th place finish in the NCAA finals.
Hayley Harford helped the Lady Paladins challenge for one of the match play positions in the final round. Harford shot the best round by any Furman golfer in the championship. The Furman junior carded a 3-under par 69 for the only sub par round turned in by any Furman golfer.
Alice Chen had the best finish for Furman earning a tie for 21st place. The senior finished at 4 over par.
Alabama and UCLA tied for the team lead and first seed going into the match play final. Jennifer Kupcho from Wake Forest won medalist honors by two shots.
Alabama golfer Lauren Stephenson from Lexington finished in a tie for 7th place at 1-under par.
While Furman had hoped to make the match play final this year the season was another success for the Lady Paladins.
“Eleventh in the country is a very solid finish, and I can’t wait to hopefully improve upon that next year,” said Hull.
Furman won their fourth straight Southern Conference Championship. Reona Hirai was medalist at the conference championship.
Natalie Srinivasan was honored as the player of the year. The Dorman grad was also honored as an honorable mention All-American.
All five golfers on the team were honored by the SoCon as All-Conference. Coach Jeff Hull was named the SoCon coach of the year.
Nationally Furman maintained a spot in the national polls again during the season. The Lady Paladins were ranked from seventh to ninth in the major polls for most of the season.
Chen was honored with the 2018 Dinah Shore Trophy, cementing her status as one of the top collegiate female players who has made an impact on the golf course through her leadership and also in society through charitable endeavor.
Senior Jacqueline Bendrick received the 2018 Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division I Kim Moore Spirit Award.
The award recognizes and honors a student-athlete who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, a role model for her team and mental toughness in facing challenges.
Furman loses three seniors from this year’s team. The experience of Chen, Hirai and Bendrick will be difficult to replace.
“I can’t thank our seniors, Alice, Reona, and Jacqueline, enough for all they have done for me and for Furman women’s golf. They will surely be missed, Hull added.
Harford returns for her senior season while Srinivasan will begin her third year with the program.
Madison Moosa was named to the All-SoCon freshman team.