CORPUS CHRISTI – Sophomore Krista Fenniak of the Texas A&M – Corpus Christi golf team has been named Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year, the league announced today. Fenniak led the Islanders with a 237 at the Southland Women's Golf Championship last week.
"This is a great honor for Krista," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "She is one of the longest hitters in the Southland and she really made an impression at the Championship. She suffered through some inconsistency this year, but as she continues to improve her short game and her consistency, she has a chance to be a really special player for the Islanders."
Fenniak is the third Islander to be honored as Newcomer of the Year, joining teammate Nikki Dunn (2011) and Ashley Watkins (2008) in that group. The Edmonton, Alberta, native had a pair of top-20 finishes this year, including a season-best 16th at the Southland Championship.
UTSA's Fabiola Arriaga was named Southland Player of the Year after posting a 74.43 average on the year and finishing second at the Championship. Arriaga's coach, Carrie Parnaby, earned Southland Coach of the Year honors for the second straight season after leading the Roadrunners to the conference title and a berth in the NCAA Regionals. Texas State's Iman Nordin took home Freshman of the Year honors.
Fenniak had a wild Southland Championship, as she led the Islanders with her 16th-place finish. The sophomore had a bevy of highlights, including an eagle in the second round on the par-4 second and an eagle in the third round on the par-5 eighth. The first of the two came from 110 yards as her wedge onto the green landed short of the hole and rolled into the bottom of the cup. On her second eagle of the tournament, she drove the green in two and drilled her putt to make a three.
She nearly added a third eagle in the final round on the 16th, as she went driver, 4-iron to put it within 20 feet on the par-5. But her potential eagle putt was just wide of the cup, as she settled for a birdie. The entire field registered just four eagles in the event, and hers were the only ones posted on their respective holes. She registered five birdies and an eagle on the 12 par-5s for the three rounds.
Fenniak's best round of the year came in the opening 18 holes of the Islander Classic. The sophomore registered a 72 for the first round at Corpus Christi Country Club. She averaged 80.3 strokes on the season and had six rounds of 77 or better on the year. Her other standout finishes were 17th at the HBU Husky Invitational and 26th at the elite Rio Verde Invitational.