September 22, 2009

ISLANDER WOMEN CLOSE WITH A FLOURISH AT PAYNE STEWART

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Led by Ashley Watkins even-par 72, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's golf team carded a 300 in the final round of the Payne Stewart Memorial hosted by Missouri State to climb to sixth overall.

Watkins, who is one of two seniors, shot the best round of the season by an Islander as A&M-Corpus Christi's 300 was the second lowest of just not the round but the entire tournament. The host Bears fired a 290 over the final 18 holes to win the team title by 11 shots over Arkansas State.

The entire contingent of Islanders broke 80 in the final round as the team climbed to sixth. Sophomore Ryann White had the second best score of the round by an Islander with a 74, while senior Courtney Peeler and Cecilia Jeon each shot 77. Sophomore Chelsey Watkins finished with her best round of the event with a 79.

A&M-Corpus Christi had to complete its second round prior to starting the final 18 holes after play was halted by rain on Monday. The Islanders, which shot a 319 to open the event, recorded a 314 in the second round. White and Peeler led A&M-Corpus Christi with 78s, while Jeon and Ashley Watkins had 79s. The younger Watkins had an 84.

Individually, Jeon led the Islanders in the tournament with a 232 (76-79-77) to finish in a tie for 17th. White was tied for 25th overall as she lowered her scores by four each round to finish with a 234 (82-78-74). Ashley Watkins was one shot back at 236 (84-79-72) to place 29th, while Peeler was 33rd at 236. Chelsey Watkins was 47th after carding a 243 (80-84-79).

"I have a much better feeling about our potential after how we played today," said Islander head coach Carol Blackmar. "We still have a lot of room to improve. We threw too many shots away and don't need to settle for shooting 300. We can do better.

"It was nice to see Cecilia put in a solid tournament, and I was extremely pleased to see Ashley finish off the tournament with a 72. She is a very good golfer and that is what I expect from her."