ORLANDO – Freshman Loren Perez had rounds of 75 and 73, while senior Tori Higgins and junior Amanda Gartrell each had single rounds of 74 to lead 6th-ranked Florida Southern into sixth place after two rounds of the Rollins Legends Invitational.
Florida Southern finished round one in eighth place with a 309, but climbed above Saint Leo and St. Mary's (TX) in round two. Their second-round score of 303 puts them within one shot of fifth-place and 14th-ranked Lynn, and three back of fourth-place Wingate. To go higher in Tuesday's final round, the Moccasins will need to make up 16 shots on 10th-ranked Rollins, which is currently third.
Dallas Baptist has the lead after rounds of 293 and 286 left the 2nd-ranked Patriots at three-over for the day. They hold a seven-shot lead over 3rd-ranked Nova Southeastern, which had a 299 in the morning but nearly matched the Patriots in the afternoon with a 287. Rollins is 17 behind Dallas Baptist and 10 back of Nova, though the Tars had the only other sub-300 round on Monday with a second-round 296.
Perez was one shot behind Higgins in the first round with her 75, but one shot better than Gartrell in the second, giving her a total score of four-over-par 148. That puts her in a tie for 10th place individually, with Higgins tied for 21st at eight-over-par 152, and Gartrell tied for 33rd at 10-over-par 154.
Leading the tournament is Sophie Madden of Nova Southeastern with a four-under-par 140 (72-68). Two Dallas Baptist golfers are right behind her, with Hanna Harrison at three-under-par 141 (71-70), and Ann Parmerter at two-under-par 142 (74-68). One other golfer, Warissara Puangcharoen also broke par on Monday, shooting a 143 (68-75).
Higgins led the Mocs in round one with her two-over-par 74, followed closely by Perez. Higgins started the day two-under through five holes, and was one-under for the last five holes of the opening round. Even another five-hole stretch in the middle of the round that saw her pick up two bogeys and a double was not enough to knock her out of the top-10 halfway through the day. Perez bogeyed two of her first three holes in the opening round but played the next 15 at one-over to shoot a 75 that put her one shot behind Higgins at that point.
Florida Southern's third and fourth counters in round one were Gartrell and Lewis who each shot an 80. Svensson had an 82, though she was tied with Higgins for the first-round team lead in birdies with three.
Perez took over top-scoring honors in round two with her 73 that included birdies on No. 5, No. 7, and No. 8, which all came in the second half of her round after starting play on 14. Gartrell did her one better, however, with four birdies in the round, two of them on par-3s, one on a par-4, and one on a par-5.
Higgins and Lewis each had a 78 in the second round, with Higgins going one-under for her final six holes.
The third and final round at the Country Club of Orlando begins Tuesday morning at 8:30.