Kiawah Island, S.C. – Freshman Rachel Lewis turned in an 83 as the low Spartan, but USC Upstate struggled as a team to find consistency and shot an opening round 350 Sunday afternoon and stands 32nd at the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic.
Playing in the largest tournament field of the season, Upstate and the rest of the 33-team field battled tremendously strong winds throughout the day on the Cougar Point and Oak Point courses at the Kiawah Island Resort on the coast of South Carolina. James Madison and Miami each shot rounds of 296 to share the lead after the first round as only six of the 33 teams shot rounds under 300.
Western Carolina shot a 297 and is in third place behind James Madison and Miami. Elon and Florida International each shot 298 to tie for fourth and were followed in the top 10 by Campbell (299), Wichita State (301), Central Arkansas (303), Jacksonville State (304), Akron (305) and the College of Charleston (305). Upstate is 32nd at 350, 38 strokes ahead of Faulkner and nine strokes behind Winthrop in 31st.
As she has done all season long, Lewis (Llanishen, Wales) led Upstate on the day. She finished with an 83 and stands tied for 113th in the large field. Amanda Hall (Tega Cay, S.C.) opened with an 86. Johanna Ebenhag (Gothenberg, Sweden) shot an 89 on Sunday, while Taylor Pleier (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Marissa Clontz (Greenville, S.C.) each carded a 92.
Three players managed to fight through the wind to post a 3-under-par 69 and share the lead after 18 holes. Mary Chamberlain (James Madison), Betsy Birchall (William & Mary) and Sarah Bejgrowicz (Campbell) each shot 69. The three players share the lead by two strokes over three players at 71.