ISLANDERS PLACE FIFTH AT SOUTHLAND CHAMPIONSHIP
HUNTSVILLE - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's golf team carded a final round 307 at the Southland Conference Championship at Raven's Nest Golf Club on Wednesday to place fifth.
The Islanders ended the tournament with their best three-round score of the season at 920. They carded rounds of 309, 304, and 307 in the three-day event. Their prior best 54-hole score was a 933 at the Payne Stewart Memorial last fall. A&M- Corpus Christi finished the tournament in fifth place - 11 shots ahead of McNeese State. The Cowgirls, who had a third-round 317, entered the final day one behind the Islanders.
"We didn't start off today as well as we had in the past couple of days, but the girls really bounced back," said Blackmar. "As rough of a spring as we had had coming in, I am really pleased with how the team responded."
Lone senior Courtney Peeler finished the conference tournament with a 76 and placed 13th as an individual. Peeler had back-to-back 75s to open the event.
"Courtney had a solid tournament," said Blackmar. "We really wanted her to be able to pull off a top-10 finish, but she just missed it. We really miss her leadership."
Cecilia Jeon and Ryan White also carded 76s. Jeon placed 17th overall in her first conference championship just three shots behind Peeler at 228 (77-76-76). White overcame a quadruple bogey on the fourth hole to finish with a 5-over 76. She played the final 13 holes at 1-under par for a 76. The sophomore was tied for 21st at 233 (79-78-76).
"Cecilia really stepped up this week in her first ever conference tournament and had three solid rounds," said Blackmar. "Ryann overcame a big oops early. She played the final 14 holes at 13 holes 1-under par."
One of the highlights at the tournament was Katie Belser. In her fourth tournament with the team after joining the squad in January, Belser posted her third sub-80 round of the event. The junior finished 18th overall with a 232 (78-75-79).
"Katie was a surprise all week for us," said Blackmar. "To join the team when she did and compete as well as she has all week was huge."
Texas State shot a final round 292 to edge host Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas, who tied for second, and claim its third conference title. The Bearkats entered the final round leading by 10 strokes after a tournament record of 285 on Tuesday. The Bobcats finished at 885 (297-296-292) shattering the previous record of 907. SHSU had rounds of 293-285-309 to finish with an 887, while UCA shot 293-295-299. UTSA was fourth with at 889 (307-289-303).
The Bears' Rebecca Sorensen claimed the individual title with 54-hole score of 213 setting a SLC record by eight strokes. After two rounds of 70 to open the tournament, she closed with a 213. Four players finished in a tie for second six shots back at 219. The Bearkats and Texas State each two players in the tie. Shelby Hardy and Kirsten Splitter place second for SHSU, while Valdis Jonsdottir and Krista Puisite represented the Bobcats.
The Islanders are slate to host the 2011 Southland Conference Tournament at the Corpus Christi Country Club.