HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS – Led by a 3-over par 75 from Britta Bernth, and a 78 from Emily Rymer, Florida Southern ended the first round of the Bearcat Spring Classic in sixth place at the mostly-Division I tournament at the Mission Inn Resort.
The start of play on Friday was delayed by two hours due to fog, but it had little effect on Bernth, who was coming off the best tournament of her career last week at Barry with three rounds in the 70's. She got off to an even better start this time with her best single round score as a Moccasin. The sophomore from Greenville, Michigan is tied for 6th place in the player standings, five strokes behind the leader, Emily Goldenstein of Memphis. Goldenstein was the only golfer in Friday's opening round to break par, with two others at 72. She held her 2-stroke advantage on the player leaderboard on the strength of five birdies, and only one other golfer had more than three.
Rymer's 78 has the senior from Orlando tied for 19th place, while junior Colleen Panosian (Smyrna, Ga.) is tied for 37th with an 80, and freshman Abbey Williams (Marietta, Ga.) is tied for 53rd with an 81. Redshirt junior Emma Marlatt (Chapel Hill, N.C.) is tied for 67th with an 83, while junior Kit Creighton (Buffalo, N.Y.), who is playing as an individual, had an 82, which was good for 61st. Creighton's score also put her third among the 12 individuals in the 97-player field.
For the most part, Florida Southern held its own among the D-I schools competing. The Moccasins were second as a team behind tournament leader Memphis with 54 pars, which included 14 by Barth and 12 by Rymer.
Memphis held a 5-stroke lead over North Dakota State, picking up two strokes apiece from its #1, #3, and #4 golfers, with Goldenstein in the top position and three other Tigers in the top-10. That gave them a first-round score of 298, with the Bison sitting at 303. Seton Hall, Cincinnati, and Seminole State (FL), the only junior college team in the tournament, were all tied for third at 312, and Florida Southern was only two strokes behind them. The Moccasins in turn were just two ahead of Jacksonville and Northern Illinois.
The second round is scheduled to begin Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m.