April 20, 2009

ISLANDER GOLF TEAM HEADS TO SLC CHAMPIONSHIP

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi golf team heads to Louisiana this week for the Southland Conference Tournament hosted by McNeese State. The event was originally slated for Koasati Pines Golf Course in Kinder, but has been moved to the Lake Charles Country Club.

The change of courses necessitated a change in the format of the event. Instead of a practice round on Sunday with 18-hole rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the teams will now practice Monday, with 36 holes on Tuesday and 18 on Wednesday.

The Islanders head into the tournament coming off a solid final round at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic hosted by Oklahoma. The team posted the second-best round by a team on the final 18 holes with a 313 to place eighth. In eight tournaments this season, the Islanders have finished fifth-or-better in five. They had a season-best finish of third at the ORU Shootout in October.

"The new course is an old-style couse that is well laid out," said Islander head coach Carol Blackmar. "I think the girls will do well on the course. They are excited about the tournament. We played really well in our last competitive round at Oklahoma and had solid practices leading up. It all comes down to the six inches between the ears as to how we do."

It is the third time the Islanders have competed in the conference tournament since becoming members of the league.

Last year, Ashley Watkins led the team to a sixth-place finish. Watkins finished tied for ninth at 15 over en route to Newcomer of the Year honors. She opened with her best as an with a 72 and finished with a 75. Ashley Olynick was 20th at 22-over par. Texas State won the team title.

In 2007, the Islanders placed fourth in the tournament in their first season in the lead. Led by ex-Islander Mary Carmen Betancourt's third-place finish, A&M-Corpus Christi ended the SLC Championship one shot behind Central Arkansas. Sam Houston State won the team title while Stefanie Page shared top honors with Lamar's Therese Nilsson, who is a senior this season.