KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The Saint Leo women’s golf team started their 2010 championship season in good form as they stand in fifth-place after the opening round of the eighth annual Tusculum College/Kiawah Island Intercollegiate Saturday.  The two-day, 36-hole tournament is being held at the par 72, 5,876-yard Cougar Point Golf Club.

The Lions earned an 18-hole 315 as they hold a four-stroke lead over conference-rival Barry and trail Florida Southern by just one.  The Lions leaderboard sees junior transfer Jordan Hatch holding the team lead after carding a 4-over-76 as she is in eighth place in the tournament.  Senior Anna Riss trails her teammate by just one-stroke and sits in ninth.

"Jordan played phenomenally and was 2-under at the turn and even after a few bogeys I was proud that she kept grinding and finished strong," said head coach Erika Brenna of her leader’s performance. “In the windy conditions, I thought that they held it together well.  Tomorrow is moving day, so we need to keep our focus and not get ahead of ourselves. If we can execute our game plan, I feel like all five of the girls can improve from their round one scores.”

Leading the tournament is the Belmont Abbey College women’s golf team after they posted a team score of 305 and hold a one-shot lead.  Daytona State is second with 306, while Rollins College is third with 308. 

Florida Southern, who has won this event the last two seasons, posted 314 and is fourth.  Barry is sixth with 319, followed by Savannah College of Art and Design (332), Armstrong Atlantic (333), Wingate (334), Newberry (337), Lincoln Memorial (339), Lynn (342), host Tusculum (347), UNC Pembroke (348), Mount Olive (356) and Columbus State (387).

Rounding out the Lions lineup are Tricia Maloney and Suzanne Ervin, who both tied for 29th with a 9-over-81.  Fighting illness all day, Kristina Carvalho sits in 70th.

The tournament will conclude with Sunday’s final round.