SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. – After an impressive finish to her summer golf schedule back home in Maryland, Shannon McKew returned to Florida and started off the new college golf season in equally impressive fashion. The redshirt junior kicked things off Monday with an opening round 77 at the Ross Resorts Invitational at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club, while fifth-year senior Emma Marlatt led the Moccasins in round two with a 78.
McKew was the runner-up in the Maryland Women's Amateur Championship and was also part of the winning team in the state's mixed 2-ball tournament. On Monday she turned in the best round of her college career and finished the first round in a tie for eighth place. That put her five strokes behind the first-round leader, 2015 Sunshine State Conference individual champion Nicole Ferre of Barry.
In the afternoon's second round, Marlatt shaved nine strokes off her opening round with a 78, and Higgins had another 81. McKew, however, was still the Moccasins' top golfer for the day with a 2-round total of 160 (77-83) that has her tied for 29th place in the field of 81. Meanwhile, Marlatt is tied for 46th with sophomore teammate Kolby McWilliams, who is playing as an individual. They each had 2-round totals of 165.
Higgins and senior Colleen Panosian are tied for 53rd with scores of 167, with Higgins the better of the two in round one, and Panosian the better in round two. Creighton had a 169 and is tied for 62nd.
With Florida Southern bringing all 11 of its golfers to the tournament and fielding two teams, the remaining five Moccasins all finished the first day within three strokes of each other. Senior Emily Tofaute and freshman Marisa Boccabella had total scores of 172, junior Britta Bernth had a 173, freshman Madison Wetzel shot a 174, and sophomore Abbey Williams had a 175.
The individual lead is shared by Elizabeth England of Carson-Newman and Momo Sakuragi of Rollins, who are at six-over par 150. Ferre and Hally Leadbetter of Rollins are tied for third just one stroke behind the co-leaders. Ferre's opening round 72 was still the best single round of the day with none of the golfers able to match that in round two.
Led by Sakuragi and Annie Dulman (Leadbetter was playing as an individual), Rollins is the team leader with a 616 (315-301), a score that puts the Tars six shots ahead of Barry and 10 ahead of third-place West Florida.
The Florida Southern "B" team owns a score of 669, and the main lineup posted a 674 on Monday.
The final round of the Ross Resorts Invitational at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club is Tuesday.