KIAWAH ISLAND, SC – Fifth-year senior Shannon McKew shot an opening round 75 to earn a share of the individual lead, and junior Abbey Williams was also among the top-20 golfers as Florida Southern finished the first day of the Barton Invitational in a tie for fourth place out of 17 teams competing.
McKew is tied for first with Makalyn Poole of Anderson (SC), with both golfers holding a one-stroke lead over Sophie Bargeron of Armstrong State (GA) and Eleonor Skoog of Limestone (SC). Four others were sitting two strokes off the pace in the first tournament of the spring semester. McKew had 11 pars and two birdies for her best round of the season, while Poole had 13 pars and one birdie.
Florida Southern's second counter was Williams, who shot an 80 Saturday, though her 12 holes of even-par put her among the top five golfers in the tournament in that category. Sophomores Tori Higgins and Madison Wetzel each shot an 84 to put their names on the list of counters, and freshman Amanda Gartrell was the Mocs' fifth golfer with an 87.
Florida Southern's team score of 323 put the Moccasins in a tie with UNC-Pembroke and eight shots behind Armstrong State and Limestone. Anderson was in third place with a 322. The Moccasins were also two shots ahead of sixth-place Queens (NC).
Limestone had three of the top eight golfers in the field, but since Skoog was playing as an individual, the Saints couldn't count her score toward their team total. The Saints did have two of the golfers who shot a 77 Saturday, but Armstrong State was able to tie them thanks to a 76 and two 78s at the top of their team scorecard. The Pirates were the only team with three counters in the 70s, but the Saints had the tournament's best No. 4 counter with an 81.
The final round of the Barton Invitational gets underway with a shotgun start Sunday morning at 8 a.m.