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Higgins Shares the Lead at GolfRank Invitational; Florida Southern Stands Second After Round One

Tori Higgins
Tori Higgins

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Sophomore Tori Higgins held a share of the first-round lead Monday at the Nova Southeastern GolfRank Invitational, and with junior Abbey Williams and freshman Amanda Gartrell also in the top-10, Florida Southern ended the day in first place as a team, only one shot behind Lynn.

Originally scheduled for October 10-11 at PGA National, the GolfRank Invitational was pushed back two weeks by Hurricane Matthew with a revamped field featuring four teams from south Florida along with the Florida Southern Moccasins. The top four teams were separated by only six shots, with Lynn just one ahead of Florida Southern, 297-298. Host school Nova Southeastern was third with a 299, and Keiser was fourth with a 303. Palm Beach Atlantic completed the field with a 331.

Lynn, Florida Southern, Nova Southeastern and Keiser not only had all four of their counters in the 70's on Monday, they also had their fifth golfers do the same. Sharing the individual lead were Higgins and Jenny Ayala from Lynn with scores of even-par 72. That 72 by Higgins is the best of her career, surpassing her previous low round of 75 set this September at the Lady Falcon Invitational where she went on to finish tied for 10th.

Two golfers were one shot behind the co-leaders (one each from Lynn and Nova), and two more followed in a tie for fifth place, trailing Higgins and Ayala by two strokes. Williams and Gartrell were among a group of seven golfers who were tied for seventh at three-over par 75, and only one stroke behind them were Marisa Boccabella and Victoria Cangero with a pair of 76's. It was the third straight 76 for Bocabella, while Cangero has been at 77 or better in four of her last five rounds. The 76 was two strokes better than any other team's #5 golfer.

The Moccasins also brought one golfer playing as an individual with Anna Millet shooting an 80 that put her in 24th place.

The second and final round is Tuesday at PGA National's Fazio Course.