Spartans Break School Record at Great Smokies Intercollegiate
Waynesville, N.C. – The USC Upstate women's golf team opened the Great Smokies Intercollegiate by shooting a school record 297, topping the old mark by two strokes. Tega Cay's Amanda Hall and Spartanburg's Taylor Pleier and Brittany Lowe each shot 74 to lead the Spartans on the day.
Upstate, which is eighth in the 23-team field, counted the three 74s and a 75 from Rachel Lewis (Llanishen, Wales) to shoot 297. The round broke the all-time school record, a 299 shot by the 2008-09 Spartans in the second round of the Great Smokies Intercollegiate. Assistant coach Audrey Church was a member of that record-setting team and shot a then-single-round school record 72 to help lead the team to the record breaking round. Her single round school record was broken last year when Lewis recorded a 69 in the first round of the Great Smokies.
"Not only was this our lowest 18-hole team score ever, it was created by our most consistent effort," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "They started well and finished well. I couldn't ask for more out of such a young team. We had lots of birdies, and that's not usually our forte.
"I saw the hard work over the last couple of weeks paying off today. We know it's just one day, but you have to have these days as steps for real improvement. Coach Church played very well here a couple of years ago and having her on the course is an added boost. "
Despite entering Tuesday's final round in eighth place, Upstate has an opportunity to move up on the leaderboard. The Spartans are just two strokes out seventh place and seven from the lead.
The host of the tournament, Western Carolina, opened with a 290 to take the first round lead. The Catamounts were followed in the top 10 by Louisiana-Monroe (291), Eastern Kentucky (292), Jacksonville (292), UNC Greensboro (294), South Carolina State (294), Rollins (295), Upstate (297), Presbyterian (301) and Gardner-Webb (301). While the Spartans are just seven strokes out of first place, there are also 10 teams behind Upstate and within 10 strokes on the leaderboard.
Upstate was extremely consistent on the day with four players shooting 75 or better. With Hall, Pleier and Lowe shooting 74, the Spartans have three players in the top 25. The three are tied for 23rd. Lewis, with a 75, stands tied for 40th despite being just one stroke back. Kristi Goodman opened the tournament with a 94.
Louisiana-Monroe's Jennifer Park opened the tournament with a 68 to take the individual lead. She is one stroke ahead of Western Carolina's Sofie Kvarnstrom.