March 9, 2012

White Leads an Elite Field at Rio Verde Invitational

RIO VERDE, Ariz. – Ryann White shot an even-par 71 for the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi golf team to sit in the individual lead at the prestigious Rio Verde Invitational on the Quail Run Course on Friday. White holds a two-shot lead over a pair of players heading into the second round.

As a team, the Islanders (309) sit in fourth place, just four shots back of Akron, with Missouri State and Eastern Michigan tied for second at 306. Krista Fenniak sits in a tie for eighth after a first-round 76, while Nikki Dunn is in a tie for 15th after a 77.

White started on the 13th, and began her round going par-birdie-bogey on both 13-15 and 16-18, sitting even on her way to the first tee. She carded a par on 1, then dropped under with a two on the par-3 second. But her pattern continued, as she followed with a five on the third, setting her back to even with nine holes in the books.

After a par on the fourth, she birdied five and delivered par on the sixth, putting her one under and in sole possession of the lead at that point. She dropped a stroke on the eighth with a bogey, but finished her round with four straight pars to enter the clubhouse even through the first 18 holes.

Fenniak came roaring out of the gate, as a birdie on the 18th put her in a tie for the lead at 1-under. Bogeys on 1 and 2 pushed her back to plus-1, but a birdie three on the par-4 third dropped her back to even. She dropped off to plus-4 with bogeys on the fourth and sixth and a double on seven, but responded with a birdie on eight. After par on nine, three straight bogeys set her back to 6-over, but she finished with two pars and a birdie on 14 to enter the clubhouse 5-over.

Dunn got out to a slow start with bogeys on four of the first five holes, but bounced back with five straight pars to leave her 4-over on the way to the fifth. She bogeyed six to move to plus-5, but rallied for four consecutive pars. After bogeying 11, the Harrogate, England, native tallied her first birdie of the day with a three at the 12th, then finished with a bogey five at the 13th to close her round at plus-6.

Taylor Slagle (85) came out of the gate consistent, posting par or bogey on her first 12 to leave her plus-6 heading to the ninth. The junior doubled the par-5, setting her back to 8-over, then moved to plus-9 with a bogey on 10. She notched par on 11 and 12, but a double on 13 and a triple on 14 proved her undoing, as she entered the clubhouse at plus-14.

Vanessa Johnson (89) started her round with consecutive bogeys on the 14th and 15th, but rebounded with five straight pars to put her plus-2 heading to the third. On 3, though, the freshman carded an eight on the par 4 to drop her to 6-over. After notching par on 4, a bogey on 5 was followed by a double on 6 and a triple on 7. She closed her round with three pars on her last four holes, shooting 17-over for the round.

The Islanders will tee off on holes 4-6 with an 8 a.m. MST shotgun start. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will be paired with Kansas and Penn State for the second round. Stay tuned to Twitter (@IslandersGolf) for updates throughout the day tomorrow.