Lake Mary, Fla. – USC Upstate freshman Eden Howard stormed up the leaderboard with a final round 71 and claimed a second-place finish to lead the women’s golf team at the Seminole Invitational Wednesday at Timacuan Country Club.
Howard entered the final round in a tie for eighth after opening with a 78 in the first round Tuesday. The freshman from Lamar, S.C., was simply strong throughout the round and carded a 1-under-par 71 with five birdies Wednesday to jump up six positions on the leaderboard and finish second with a 149 total. She was runner-up by a single stroke.
“I am so incredibly excited for Eden,” said Upstate assistant coach Audrey Church. “She is such a talented and strong player, and it definitely showed in her score today. She took advantage of some darts she threw at the pin with her longer irons and was able to convert them to birdies. She made it simple, didn’t make any big mistakes, and took advantage of her opportunities.”
Howard helped lead Upstate to a third-place finish in the tournament. The Spartans shot a 315 to finish the 36-hole event with a 636 total. They counted scores of 71 from Howard, 78 from Sidney Dermody, 81 from Rachel Reiling and 85 from Payton Culler. Malika Allie carded an 88. Kinsey Soniat and Allie Gennaula competed in the tournament as individuals and both finished with a final round 87.
The third-place finish is tied for the best team finish this season after also finishing third at the Winthrop Invitational. However, the Winthrop tournament was a nine-team field, while the Seminole Invitational was a 14-team tournament.
Seminole State, the host of the tournament, won the team championship with a 610 total. Appalachian State was second at 612 and was followed on the final leaderboard by Upstate (636), Gardner-Webb (644), Wofford (646), Dalton State (647), Radford (648), Creighton (663), Detroit (675), IPFW (676), Niagara (676), Florida Atlantic (703), Ursuline (746) and John A Logan (805).
Upstate placed three players in the Top 20 on the final individual leaderboard. In addition to Howard’s second-place finish, Culler claimed a tie for 13th with a 159 total. Reiling claimed a tie for 18th at 161. Dermody claimed a tie for 35th with a 167 effort. Upstate made seven birdies on the day and finished the tournament with 14.
Seminole State’s Sydney Legacy won the individual championship with a 148 total, one stroke ahead of Howard. She shot rounds of 72 and 76.