by Benny Benton
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – For the first time in program history, the Barton College women's golf team holds an overnight lead in a tournament.
On Friday, the Lady Bulldogs topped a field of six in the Battle of the Beach, being played on the Pine Hills course at Myrtlewood Golf Club. Barton holds a commanding 22-shot advantage over second-place Alderson Broaddus University after carding an opening-round 331.
All five BC players made the top 10 in the 32-player field, as sophomore Nikki Norlin stood fifth following an 85, freshman Jailynn Thomas tied for sixth with an 86, and junior Kelsey Woodall tied for eighth with an 89. The 86 for Thomas was a collegiate-best.
McMahon and Turner hold a one-shot lead over Jennifer Mitchell of Urbana University and a three-stroke advantage over Joslyn Goins of Ohio Valley University.
Ohio Valley trails second-place Alderson-Broaddus by 13 shots after carding a 368. Urbana is fourth at 399, followed by UVa-Wise at 438 and Fairmont State University at 439.
Barton has been in second place following the first round on three occasions in the program's six and a half year history of team competition. It remained in second in two of them, both events they were hosting, the Cutter Creek Invitational in September 2014 and the Barton Intercollegiate later that season in March 2015.
The Lady Bulldogs will attempt to wrap up the program's first tournament title on Saturday.