The Lady Paladins won their own Lady Paladin Invitational for the second year in a row.
The win was a combination of outstanding play from the two senior members of the team and a very good contribution from three freshmen who were in the Furman lineup.
2022 SoCon Player of the Year Anna Morgan came within a shot of winning her second straight Lady Paladin individual title.
Her second place finish combined with Furman senior Sarah Eve Reheaum’s fifth place finish put the Lady Paladins in position to claim the team win.
But it was the three freshmen who put Furman over the top in the tournament for the win.
Twins Chloe and Faith Johnson along with another freshman Liza Lapeyre each contributed counting rounds during the 54 hole championship and made some key birdies down the stretch.
“With Anna and Sarah being our anchors you still need the rest of the lineup to play well and our freshmen played great,” said Furman coach Jeff Hull. “Especially coming in, they made some birdies and that was the key,” he said.
Faith Johnson had the best finish for the newcomers. She shot a final round 71, which included an important birdie on the 18th at Furman to finish in a tie for 17th.
Individually, Christin Isenbeiss shot a final round 4-under par 68 to pass Morgan on the final few holes for medalist honors.
Morgan only made two bogeys in the tournament, but had trouble making birdies the final day.
Minnesota’s Mariana Mesones may have used them all up.
Mesones set a new final round scoring record by carding an 8-under par 64 to jump up into a tie for second with Morgan at 7-under par for the tournament.
While disappointed at missing out on a second straight Lady Paladin individual title Morgan knows this year presents some special challenges after her outstanding season a year ago.
The Furman junior finished 9th in the NCAA Championship, won two college tournaments, played in the US Open and on the Palmer Cup team and topped it off as being the SoCon Player of the Year and the Furman Athlete of the year.
“You have to play good golf to win any tournament so I was just trying to focus on my own game,” said Morgan. “Unfortunately it wasn’t enough today. Obviously after my year last year it was pretty hard to back up, but I’m happy with the way I played,” she said.
Morgan is on the preseason ANNIKA Watch List for the most outstanding college golfer and after last year it is a list on which she belongs.
“My expectations for this year is no expectations. My year last year was honestly better than I could have asked for so maybe this year I’ll try to keep up with it. I know I can do it, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself,” she said.
The tournament was part of a weekend at Furman when golfers parents and staff members get together for a special dinner. With so many new faces on the team, Hull believed this year’s gathering was even more important than usual.
“The biggest thing was everyone getting to know each other, to mesh together. The three freshmen are awesome and it was great to see everyone just lock in this week and that was fun,”: said Hull.
As for the win, Hull says winning the Lady Paladin is always on top of a list of team goals.
“The Lady Paladin and the SoCon are our two top priorities, if we can do those two things everything else can happen from there,” noted Hull.
Scores from the Lady Paladin https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=26554