Piscataway, N.J. – The USC Upstate women's golf teamed shot a 320 in the first round of the Rutgers Invitational and stands eighth out of 21 teams heading into the final round on Saturday.
Upstate trails tournament leader Seton Hall by 21 strokes after the Pirates opened with a 299. However, the Spartans are well within striking distance of a Top 3 finish. Upstate is just eight strokes out of third place entering the final round on Saturday.
"I am pleased that we have the opportunity to post a good round tomorrow and have our highest finish in this tournament, standing only eight shots from third place," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "The course yields a lot of rounds in the high-70s, but very few low rounds. It will take four good rounds tomorrow as a team and not just a great round from one or two players."
Taylor Barnes (Spartanburg, S.C.) shot a 77 to lead the Upstate cause. She stands tied for 12th in the tournament, just one shot back of a Top 10 position. Fellow Spartanburg native Brittany Lowe also shot below 80 on the day, finishing with a 79. She is tied for 33rd. Amanda Hall (Tega Cay, S.C.) opened with an 80, while Rachel Reiling (Littleton, Colo.) shot 84 as the fourth countable score for the Spartans. Madison Bryant (Chapin, S.C.) shot 86.
"Taylor played well and showed composure with her short game," said Lawton. "She showed maturity in her shot making decisions. Brittany and Amanda contributed with good rounds and I know they are excited to get a few more back tomorrow."
Seton Hall owns a five shot lead heading into Saturday's final round. Rutgers opened with a 304 and is in second place. The Knights are followed by St. John's (312), Monmouth (313), Fairleigh Dickinson (314), Dartmouth (314), Boston U. (318), Upstate (320), Lehigh (323)and Central Connecticut State (323), Delaware (323), Long Island-Brooklyn (323), Quinnipiac (324), Fairfield (325), Wagner (327), Hofstra (330), Mount St. Mary's (339), Hartford (340), Sacred Heart (344), Albany (348) and St. Francis-N.Y. (363).
Upstate is six strokes away from a Top 5 position, trailing Fairleigh Dickinson and Dartmouth. Boston U. is just two strokes ahead of Upstate, while the Spartans own a three shot advantage over four teams at 323.