NAVARRE, FL – With junior Amanda Gartrell tied for second, and sophomore Shelby Lewis tied for eighth, 13th-ranked Florida Southern ended day one of the Argonaut Invitational in third place with team scores of 308 and 306. Nova Southeastern leads the tournament with a 586 (+10), host West Florida is second with a 610 (+34), and the Moccasins have a 614 (+38).
Nova Southeastern, the highest ranked team in the field at No. 3, jumped out to a 12-shot lead after the first round as the only team to break 300. The Sharks had a 296 (+8) with all four counters shooting 76 or better, led by first-round leader Hanna Ahlander at one-under-par 71. Florida Southern and No. 16 Saint Leo were tied for second, but the Moccasins and Lions each had to count a score in the 80s, and though West Florida was the only team in the first round with all five golfers in the 70s, the Argos also had no one shoot better than 76.
Nova shot even better in round two with a 290 that saw all five of its golfers shoot 75 or better, and all four counters no worse than 73. West Florida was able to move ahead of Florida Southern with a 300 while the Moccasins' 306 was seven shots better than Saint Leo. That combination dropped the Lions into fourth place with a total score of 621, putting them seven behind the Moccasins, but 18 in ahead of fifth-place and 22nd-ranked Lee.
Gartrell immediately set the pace for Florida Southern with an even-par 72 that featured four birdies, the most for any golfer in the first round. That put her in a tie for second place halfway through the day. Gartrell was +1 at the turn and +2 through 11, but birdied 12, 15, and 16. Two of those birdies came on par-fives, giving her a -2 on those four holes. She followed that with a 74 in round two and had three more birdies to bring her total for the day to seven. That also kept her tied for second with West Georgia's Franziska Bremm, who matched Gartrell in both rounds with a 72 and 74.
Gartrell and Bremm are still chasing Ahlander, who had a second-round 73 for Nova Southeastern, adding one stroke to her lead. Ahlander sits at even-par 144, with Gartrell and Bremm two shots behind her at 146 (+2). Two more Nova golfers, Sofia Garcia Austt and Sophie Madden are tied for fourth at 147 (+3), but the next two spots are four strokes behind them.
Lewis is part of a three-way tie for eighth with a 152 (+8). Her two-over-par 74 in round one included the tournament's only eagle Monday, which she hit on her third hole of the day. It came on the 324-yard par-4 No. 6. She later picked up a pair of birdies and played the final eight holes of the round at -1. On her first six holes of round two, Lewis had five straight pars and a birdie, but fell back after that with a run of three bogeys on 10, 11, and 12. She was one of three Moccasins to shoot a 78 in the round, but was still tied for eighth overall.
Florida Southern's other two first-round counters were freshman Loren Perez with a 77 and senior Tori Higgins with an 85. In the afternoon, Perez shot a 76, and Higgins added a 78. Senior Madi Wetzel, who had a 92 in the first round, dropped 14 strokes off her score in the second with one of team's three 78s.
Perez was tied for 11th at 153 (+9), and is only one stroke out of the top-10. Higgins is tied for 28th with a 163 (+19), and Wetzel is tied for 40th with a 170 (+26).
The Moccasins also had one golfer playing as individual with freshman Nathalie Svensson shooting an 89 in the first round and an 82 in the second. Svensson is tied for 42nd with a 171 (+27).
The final round at The Club at Hidden Creek is Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.