April 27, 2009

BLACKMAR NAMED SLC COACH OF THE YEAR, TEAM HEADS TO TEMPE

After leading her team to the Southland Conference Championship in women's golf, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi golf coach Carol Blackmar has been named the league's Coach of the Year. Junior Ashley Watkins was a second-team All-SLC selection for the second straight season.

"I was a little surprised to be named Coach of the Year," said Blackmar. "We finally played at the level I expected in the final tournament. We finally reached our potential.

"Ashley is very deserving of the honor with her second-place finish in the tournament. She is one of several players on our team capable of shooting low rounds."

By winning the Southland Conference Championship, the Islanders earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament. They will be one of 21 teams headed to Tempe, Ariz. for the West Regional May 7-9 at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. A&M-Corpus Christi is one of five teams from Texas that will be in the West Region. The others are Texas, Baylor, TCU and Texas A&M. The top eight teams and two individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the NCAA Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Mary.

"We will continue to work on short game," said Blackmar. "But the biggest thing will be to continue working on our mental game like we did before the conference tournament. Courtney (Peeler's) play was an example of that with how she overcame a poor start to fight back for a great round."

Last Wednesday, Blackmar's troops won the school's first title in women's golf. The Islanders entered the final day one shot behind McNeese State and tied with UTSA for second after 36 holes. Her team trailed late but shot three-under par as a team over the final holes to claim the win. Courtney Peeler's birdie on the final coupled with a double bogey by Allie Jordan propelled the Islanders to the title overcoming a two-shot deficit.

Watkins, who was the SLC Newcomer of the Year a season ago, was named 2nd-team All-SLC for the second straight season. She was the team's top finisher at the league championship tying for second jus two shots behind Allie Jordan. The Top-10 finish was the junior's first of the season and she finished the tournament with a 71 on the final 18 which was her lowest round of the season.

"We are excited to get the opportunity to compete at the regional," said Watkins. "It will give us a chance to prove what we are made of. There may be some butterflies on the first hole, but I think we can overcome it. Coach really tries to prepare us for these situations."

2008-09 All-Southland Conference Women's Golf Teams

First Team

Name

Cl.

University

Avg. (Rds.)

Low

Wins

Top 10

Hometown

Nicole Forshner

Sr.

C. Arkansas

75.23 (30)

71

4

13

Banff, Alberta

Therese Nilsson

Sr.

Lamar

76.86 (29)

71

1

5

Vellinge, Sweden

Maggie Welch

Sr.

McNeese St.

76.34 (32)

70

1

6

Syracuse, Kan.

Allie Jordan

Sr.

UTSA

77.80 (25)

71

2

4

Monahans, Texas

Sydney Liles

Sr.

Texas St.

76.93 (31)

71

1

3

Phoenix, Ariz.

Second Team

Name

Cl.

University

Avg. (Rds.)

Low

Wins

Top 10

Hometowns

Lacy McKinley

Jr.

McNeese St.

77.61 (26)

68

1

4

Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Rebecca Sorensen

Jr.

C. Arkansas

77.30 (30)

70

5

Grabo, Sweden

Ashley Watkins

Jr.

A&M-Corpus Christi

78.07 (27)

71

1

Sealy, Texas

Wendy Joyner

Sr.

Sam Houston St.

78.19 (26)

71

2

Montgomery, Texas

Channing Norton

Sr.

Lamar

76.86 (29)

70

4

Cleveland, Texas

Honorable Mention: Linda Persson, LU; Laura Baker, UTSA.

Coach of the Year Carol Blackmar, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Player of the Year – Nicole Forshner, Central Arkansas

Freshman of the Year – Gabby De Reuck, Texas State

Newcomer of the Year – Sydney Liles, Texas State