by Benny Benton
WALLACE, N.C. – The Barton College women's golf team recorded a combined score of 641 over two rounds at the Sonoco Campbell Oil Classic on Monday at River Landing Golf Club, the second-best 36-hole total in the six-year history of the program.
The Lady Bulldogs carded a round of 320 in the morning session, and followed that up with a 321 during the afternoon 18 on the par-72, 5,812-yard layout.
Barton produced its total of 641 despite having to count every score after freshman Clare McMahon was unable to start the event due to injury.
Sophomore Maria Garcia paced Barton on Monday with rounds of 77 and 78 for a 155 total that matched her career-low over 36 holes and ranked 14th in a field of 53.
Freshman Nikki Norlin produced her career-best score for 36 holes after posting back-to-back rounds of 79 for a 158 total that was tied for 25th.
Sophomore Sydney Turner matched her season-best total for two rounds, 161, after recording an 80 and an 81 that tied for 36th.
Freshman Lexie Johnston rounded out the scoring by delivering the best 36-hole performance of her young career by six shots after carding a 167 (84-83) that ranked 47th.
The only 36-hole score better than Monday's effort of 641 by the Lady Bulldogs came at The Trojan in 2014, when Barton posted a total of 635 over two days at Walnut Creek Country Club in Goldsboro.
Despite Monday's historically great round, the Lady Bulldogs stood eighth among nine teams competing in the tournament hosted by UNC Pembroke. Under excellent scoring conditions, the host Braves fired rounds of 303 and 304 to grab a four-stroke lead over Carson-Newman University and Queens University.
Barton is three shots behind seventh-place Columbus State University, and six strokes in front of ninth-place Merrimack College.
UNC Pembroke also claims the event's individual leader, Katy Flax, who blazed her way to a 68 in round one and added a 75 in round two to stand at 144, two shots ahead of University of Mount Olive's Julia Kaeding.
The third and final round will begin with a 9 a.m. shotgun start on Tuesday.