PENSACOLA, FL – With senior Britta Bernth and junior Abbey Williams both in the top-10, and all five golfers shooting a 78 or better, Florida Southern finished the first day of the Argonaut Invitational in third place out of nine teams with a 303.
Play had barely begun before the teams were forced off the course at Marcus Pointe Golf Club by severe weather and play did not resume until 2:00 Central Time. That forced the cancellation of one of the two scheduled rounds for Monday, and reduced to the tournament to two rounds overall.
West Florida, the host school, took control of the scoreboard by having all four of its counters shoot even-par or better even with the less-than-ideal conditions. The top four Argonaut golfers were also the top four golfers in the tournament with scores of 69, 70, 71, and 72. Fabiana Salazar had the 69 to take the first-round lead after picking up six birdies and nine pars. The six birdies tied her with Caroline Moore of Lee (TN) for the tournament lead.
The Argonauts' team score of six-under par 282 gave them a commanding 18-shot lead over Limestone (SC), and 21-shot lead over Florida Southern, even though all five golfers from those two teams were also in the 70s. Lee (TN) was in fourth place, trailing West Florida by 23 shots, and Northeastern State (OK) was fifth, 26 shots behind the front-running Argos. None of those five teams had to count anything over a 79.
Florida Southern's lead golfer was Bernth with a 74, which tied her for eighth place and came on the heels of a 72 in the final round of the Barry Women's Invitational last week when she was the Moccasins' number two golfer. Williams was their number two scorer Monday at the Argonaut Invitational with a 75 that had her tied for 10th.
Sophomore Tori Higgins and freshman Amanda Gartrell each shot a 77 on Monday to tie for 16th place, and fifth-year senior Shannon McKew had a 78 to tie for 18th. It's the third time in the last four rounds of competition that Florida Southern got 70s from all five golfers in the lineup, and McKew's 78 was the best for the Mocs' fifth golfer since the opening round of the Nova Southeastern GolfRank Invitational in October.
The Moccasins also had one player competing as an individual with junior Anna Millet shooting an 82 to tie for 29th.
The final round is scheduled to get underway Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. Central Time.