by Benny Benton
SNOW HILL, N.C. – The Barton College women's golf team carded the best round in program history on Sunday at Cutter Creek Golf Club, a 310 that earned the Lady Bulldogs second place on the opening day of the 2018 Conference Carolinas Championship.
Junior Sydney Turner led the charge for Barton, matching a career-low with a 3-over 75 to tie for second place in the 50-player field. The Montgomery, Ala., resident drained four birdies in a front-side 35, then survived with a 40 through a brutal back nine as winds howled across the 5,864-yard, par-72 layout at more than 35 miles per hour.
Fellow junior Maria Garcia added a season-low 77 and is alone in seventh place, and sophomore Clare McMahon posted a 78 to give the Lady Bulldogs another player in the top 10 (tied for eighth). Junior Kelsey Woodall provided an 80 to tie for 21st position, and sophomore Nikki Norlin recorded an 84, her second-lowest round of the year, that tied for 36th place.
Barton's 310 total was four shots better than the previous school record, which it ironically set in the final round of last year's league championship on the same course.
The Lady Bulldogs trail only nationally-ranked No. 27 Limestone College in the championship, The Saints carded a round of 303, led by a 70 from tournament leader Victoria Ross.
Turner is tied with two other players for second place, Nicola Robertson of King University and Savannah Hallman of North Greenville University. Two more players are one shot back in a tie for fifth.
Barton holds a three-stroke lead over third-place Erskine College. North Greenville is fourth at 317, followed by Converse College at 320.
The Lady Bulldogs will be in the final threesomes of round two. Barton will tee off along with Erskine and Limestone between 10 a.m. and 10:32 a.m.
The championship, which continues through Tuesday, is free and open to the public.