Seeking their first title since 2009, when the tournament moved to Moss Creek, the Paladins shot a 17-over 305 Sunday to hold a seven-stroke lead over Samford and Chattanooga, who both sit at 312. Each of Furmans counting four is in the top 10 individually, paced by Valentina Romeros 3-over 75, which has her alone in third place.
Furmans Aubrie Street and Taylor Totland are among a three-way tie for fourth with matching 76s, while Stephanie Carlozzi rounds out the Paladins scoring contingent in 10th with a 6-over 78.
UTCs McLennan finished with a 1-over 73 to hold the first-round lead for the second straight year. The 2013 SoCon Freshman of the year is vying to become Chattanoogas fourth straight medalist in the annual event. Emma de Groot won it in 2011, while current teammates Jordan Britt (2012) and Agathe Sauzon (2013) have won in each of the last two years.
This year, Sauzon is just outside the top 10 in a tie for 11th with a 7-over 79, while Britt and teammate Isabella Loza are tied for 14th at 8-over 80. The Mocs are seeking their fifth consecutive team title.
Seeking its first SoCon title since joining the league in 2008-09, Samford has a pair of individuals in the top five in Natalie Mitchell and Alex Jasper. Mitchell fired a 2-over 74 to sit one stroke back of McLennan, while Jasper is tied for fourth with Street and Totland at 76.
Western Carolinas Olivia Landino, Appalachian States Emily Stinson and Elons Emily Brooks are tied for seventh at 5-over 77 to round out the individual top 10.
Elon sits fourth in the team standings at 318, followed by Western Carolina at 325 and Wofford at 326. The Citadel is seventh at 327, followed by Appalachian State (331) and UNCG (337).
The second round will tee off at 8 a.m. Monday, with The Citadel, Appalachian State and UNCG getting things started. Leaders Furman, Samford and Chattanooga will tee off at 9:40 a.m.
Live stats can be found at www.golfstatresults.com and will be updated every three holes. The 54-hole tournament will conclude Tuesday, with the winner earning the SoCons automatic bid to the NCAA regionals.
2014 Southern Conference Womens Golf Championship
Moss Creek Golf Club, North Course
Par-72, 5,941 yards
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Top 10 individuals
1. Emily McLennan, Chattanooga 73
2. Natalie Mitchell, Samford 74
3. Valentina Romero, Furman 75
T4. Alex Jasper, Samford 76
T4. Aubrie Street, Furman 76
T4. Taylor Totland, Furman 76
T7. Olivia Landino, Western Carolina 77
T7. Emily Stinson, Appalachian State 77
T7. Emily Brooks, Elon 77
10. Stephanie Carlozzi, Furman 78
1. Furman 305
4. Elon 318
5. Western Carolina 325
6. Wofford 326
7. The Citadel 327
8. Appalachian State 331
9. UNC-Greensboro 337