RIO VERDE, Ariz. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's golf team posted a third-round 310 to finish in fifth place at the elite Rio Verde Invitational on the Quail Run Course at Rio Verde Country Club. Senior Ryann White (Lubbock/Coronado) shot 76 in the final round to finish in a tie for fourth at the event.
"To finish fifth at an event with so many strong teams and on such a hard course is a great performance for our group," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "Ryann played great golf all weekend, but having the rest of our team step up the way they did throughout the weekend was a crucial development for our program. If we can follow up with a strong performance in Las Vegas next weekend, we'll have things rolling for the stretch run."
White, who led at the end of 18 holes, tied for fourth with a three-round 223 (71-76-76), finishing four shots behind Akron's Kristen Hill for the title. Nikki Dunn finished in a tie for 14th with a 228 (77-75-76), while Krista Fenniak was tied for 26th at 233 (76-77-80). After a first-round 89, Vanessa Johnson (Corpus Christi/Carroll) finished 73-78 to lead the Islanders over the final two rounds.
Kansas took the team title with a three-round 900, with Missouri State (903) and Akron (906) rounding out the top three. Penn State finished fourth after posting a 911 for the 54-hole event.
White came racing out of the gate with birdies on her first two holes, then followed with four pars in a row to sit two under heading to the turn. Over the next five holes, she hit a tough stretch, with three bogeys and a double pushing her 3-over for the day. She responded with five straight pars heading to the second, but finished with bogeys on 2 and 3 to finish the Invitational with a 76.
Dunn had a strong start, with eight pars and a bogey in her first nine holes. She fell back three strokes on the 13th, posting a 7 on the par-4, but rebounded with a birdie on the 14th. She alternated pars and bogeys through the 18th, then closed with pars on her final three holes to finish her day with a 76 of her own.
Fenniak fell to 2-over on the day with bogeys on 5 and 6, but followed that with six straight pars to remain at plus-2 on her way to the 13th. She followed a bogey on 13 with a triple on 14 to fall to plus-6, then went par-bogey-par-birdie to carry that score to the 1st hole. After a par on 1, Fenniak doubled the 2nd and bogeyed the 3rd before finishing with a par on the 4th to enter the clubhouse with an 80.
Johnson started with a par on six before dropping two shots with bogeys on seven and eight. She went par-bogey-birdie on the next three holes, sitting plus-2 heading to the 13th. She entered a stretch with bogeys on four of her next six holes to go to the 1st at 6-over. After a par on 1, she followed with a double bogey on the par-3 2nd, but rebounded with a birdie on 3 and finished her round with pars on 4 and 5 to wrap the event with a 78.
Taylor Slagle had a tough start with bogeys or doubles on seven of her first nine to fall back to 11-over. She responded with four pars in a row, then finished bogey-par-bogey to post an 84 for the final day of the event.
The Islanders return to action this weekend at the Bucknell Women's Invitational on March 16-17 in Las Vegas. For updates from that event, follow the team on Twitter @IslandersGolf.