NEW YORK - The Columbia women's golf team will play its final tournament of the fall this weekend, competing at the 41st Lady Paladin Invitational hosted by Furman.
The par-72, 6,266-yard Furman University Golf Course will serve as the playing field for the 14-team tournament. Columbia will be challenged by some of the best golf talent on the east coast in: Appalachian State, Chattanooga, Jacksonville, Longwood, Mercer, Newberry, North Florida, Rutgers, Samford, Savannah College of Art and Design, William & Mary and the top-ranked, as well as four-time defending NCAA Division II National Champion Nova Southeastern.
The 54-hole tournament begins with opening round play at 9 a.m. on Friday. Second round play tees off at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Sunday's final round scheduled for a shotgun start at 9 a.m.
Columbia will be looking to punctuate a solid fall season that has seen the Lions claim a pair of top-five finishes as a team. Columbia opened the year with a fifth-place showing at the Bucknell Invitational and followed that up with a fourth-place finish at the Murray State Drake Creek Invitational. The Lions were last in action at the Nittany Lion Invitational, Sept. 28-30, claiming eighth.
Michelle Piyapattra highlighted the Nittany Lion tournament, shooting a 65 her final round to set a new low-round record for both Columbia and the Penn State Blue Course. Piyapattra has had three top-15 finishes this fall, but it was Monique Ishikawa who has had the highest individual finish, taking second at the Bucknell Inivitational.
The Lady Paladin Invitational began in 1972 with Furman claiming the inaugural title and Lady Paladin Beth Solomon taking individual medalist honors. Over the years, many of the most recognizable names in women's golf have won the tournament including Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, Sherri Turner, Donna Andrews and Dottie Pepper.