March 23, 2014
Hilton Head Island, S.C. - Paced by individual tournament leader, Kristin Swindell, the Western Carolina women's golf team has two golfers inside the top three to sit in second place overall just one stroke off the lead at the Low Country Intercollegiate at the par-72, 5,815-yard South Course at the Moss Creek Golf Club.
Swindell, a redshirt sophomore from Bradenton, Fla., paced the 55-golfer field on Sunday with an opening round three-over par, 75, to hold a one-stroke edge over Samford's Bailey Gray (76). Catamount sophomore Kim Mitchell is second WCU golfer inside the top five, locked in a two-way tie for third at five-over par, 77, after the opening round.
Behind Swindell and Mitchell, freshman Ashley Thompson - playing in her first event as a part of the scoring roster - shot an opening-round 80 to sit tied for 15th overall. Classmates Taylor Allison and Mariah Hopkins stand tied for 25th overall with matching scores of 82.
Players were greeted with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s on Sunday with a steady breeze. The course played very tough for much of the field in the first round. Sunday's individual stroke average was 84.19 or about 12 over par.
Samford carded an opening round 313 on Sunday to sit one-stroke ahead of the defending event champion, Western Carolina, at 314 in the 10-team field. Gardner-Webb is five strokes off the lead in third place at 318, followed by Bethune-Cookman at 324 and Presbyterian in fifth at 326. Tournament host - and fellow Southern Conference foe - Wofford (327) is tied for sixth with The Citadel eighth at 329 and Appalachian State ninth at 336 to round out league schools.
Paired with golfers from Samford and Gardner-Webb, WCU's scoring five is scheduled to tee-off between the first and fourth holes with the shotgun start at 9:30 am. The two Catamount individuals tee off on the back nine on No. 15 and 16.