Jacksonville, Fla. – Placing a couple of lackluster performances in the first two rounds behind them, the USC Upstate women's golf team shot a team tournament-low 313 Tuesday afternoon to move up a spot on the leaderboard and finished fifth at the Courtyard Classic at Hidden Hills Country Club.
The Courtyard Classic was a 54-hole event hosted by Jacksonville University. The Spartans had previously shot rounds of 322 and 323 in the first two rounds, but rallied with its best score of the tournament and their fourth-best round of the year with the 313 total. The effort allowed them to move ahead of Florida Atlantic on the leaderboard.
A-Sun foe Mercer won the tournament with 301 score on Tuesday and a 54-hole tournament total of 908. A-Sun rival Jacksonville finished second with a 925 total and was followed by Daytona State (940), A-Sun foe Florida Gulf Coast (942), Upstate (958) and Florida Atlantic (961). Mercer's Lacey Fears won the individual championship by two strokes with a 220 total.
"It was exciting," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "Taylor (Pleier) and Rachel (Lewis) came in and posted some really good numbers. They made a lot of pars and neither one of them got into trouble. It's very exciting to have your best round in the last round and move up a spot on the leaderboard. It was a good way to finish.
"To come off of a two-month break in the winter and shoot a solid round like that is good and something we can build on. I am excited to see where we will go over the next two months."
Spartanburg's Taylor Pleier was solid in the tournament, improving her scores in each round. After opening with an 81, she recorded two rounds in the 70s, including a 75 in the final round on Tuesday. She was the low Spartan in the tournament, finishing 13th with a 235 total.
"Taylor is hitting the ball really, really well," said Lawton. "She is hitting it long and straight. She shot 1-under on her back nine today and just finished strong."
Rachel Lewis (Llanishen, Wales) claimed a top 15 position by rebounding from an uncharacteristic round on Monday to shoot 74 on Tuesday. She finished with a 238 total. Amanda Hall (Tega Cay, S.C.) carded an 80 in the final round and finished 21st with a 241 total.
Brittany Lowe (Spartanburg) carded a 90 and finished 28th with a 250 total, while Kristi Goodman (Easley, S.C.) joined Pleier as a player who improved her score each round. She finished with an 84 on Tuesday, a 10-stroke difference from her first round.