HUNTSVILLE - Four Islanders carded rounds of 79 or better as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi golf team opened the 2010 Southland Conference Championship with a 309 at Raven's Nest Golf Club on Monday. The second round will be Tuesday with the final round Wednesday.

The 309 was tied for the best mark of the spring for the Islanders placing them in sixth place after 18 holes. The Islanders, who claimed their first SLC crown a season ago opened the 2009 event with a 308. A&M-Corpus Christi finished two shots behind UTSA after round one.

"We started off great," said Islander head coach Carol Blackmar, whose team was second after six holes. "We just didn't finish off the round like we would have liked. We started to get ahead of ourselves.

"We will need to take confidence from the shots we hit early and the birdies we made. We need to leave behind the putts that we missed down the stretch and focus on the positive."

Individually, Courtney Peeler led the way with a 75 to finish in a tie for 12th individually. She entered the tournament with four straight top-10 finishes and was sixth a season ago.

Freshman Cecilia Jeon ended the first day with her best round of the spring as she shot a 77 and is tied for 18th. One shot back is Katie Belser, who posted the second-best round of her brief career as an Islander. Belser, who joined the team this spring, finished with a 78 which is 26th. Rounding out the four scoring marks for the Islanders was Ryann White. The sophomore posted a 79 and is 30th overall.

The team leaders after round one were the host Bearkats of Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas who opened with rounds of 293. The two each had individual finish the day tied for medalist honors at 1-under on the par-71 course. Meghan Musk of SHSU and the Bears' Rebecca Sorensen carded 70s on day one.

"We can take some confidence from the start we had that we can play on this course and compete," said Blackmar. "We just need to stay in the present and not get ahead of ourselves. If we do that and keep out confidence we'll do well."