DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Playing in its first tournament of the 2018-19 season, the fifth-ranked Florida Southern women's golf team had an opening-round score of 307 to sit in a three-way tie for second after one round of the Lady Falcon Invitational hosted by Daytona State.
The Moccasins were joined in that second-place position by Lynn and Bethune-Cookman, and all three trailed Seminole State of Florida by eight shots. The 10-team tournament has a mix of schools from across all levels of college golf with five of teams coming from the Sunshine State Conference. Division I Bethune-Cookman and Florida Atlantic are also participating as are three junior colleges, led by the defending NJCAA National Champion Dayton State Falcons.
The host Falcons ended the day in fifth place, trailing Seminole State by 14 shots, and the trio of teams tied ahead of them by six.
Florida Southern had all four of its counters shoot 78 or better, led by junior Amanda Gartrell and freshman Loren Perez, who each shot a four-over par 76. Gartrell started her round by parring the first eight holes. After a three-hole stretch that saw her go four-over, she finished by again playing even-par golf for the final seven. Perez had a similar start with eight pars on her first nine holes to equal Gartrell's nine-hole score of +1. A birdie on No. 10 put her at one-under before she finished with at +4, which made her and Gartrell two of the seven golfers who were tied for seventh. They trailed first-round leader Worapitcha Anudit of Seminole State by seven strokes. Anudit shot a three-under par 69, and Lynn's Matilda Wahren of Lynn was the only other golfer within five shots of her, carding a one-under par 71.
The Moccasins also got counting scores from freshmen Nathalie Svensson (77, +5) and Hanna Rizzolo (78, +6). Senior Tori Higgins shot an 81 to complete the lineup. Svensson was the only Moccasin with more than one birdie Friday, with those coming on No. 3 and No. 5, even though she played better on the back nine with a two-over par 38. Svensson is in 14th place, Rizzolo is tied for 15th, and Higgins is tied for 28th.
Head coach Robbie Davis also brought three individuals to Daytona, with senior Madi Wetzel and sophomore Shelby Lewis tied for 19th at seven-over par 79. Of the 11 golfers who are competing as individuals, that is the best score turned in by any of them. Sophomore Ashley Zagers is tied for 39th with an 83.
Round two is Saturday at LPGA International and the final round is Sunday.