LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi golf team delivered a second-round 306 to remain in seventh place at the 35th Annual Pat Bradley FIU Invitational. Sophomore Vanessa Johnson's 74 led the way for the Islanders, who trimmed six shots off their first round score. Johnson sits 17th with a 153 (79-74) through 36 holes.
"Today was a much better day for us – we needed to step it up after Sunday's round and we did that today," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "That said, I know that we can cut a few more strokes off our score, and we need to do that in the final round tomorrow so that we have some momentum for our program heading into the offseason."
Host Florida International leads the pack with a 590 (296-294), while Boston College (303-302—605) and Cincinnati (297-309—606) are in a battle for second place. The Islanders sit four shots behind Florida Gulf Coast (303-311—614) for sixth place at the event. Daytona State College got a 67 out of overall leader Mary Dawson, who is one shot ahead of FIU's Sophie Godley for the individual lead.
Johnson started her second round on the ninth hole, opening with a bogey on the par-5. She followed that with four consecutive pars, but a bogey on the 14th and a double on the 16th set her back to 4-over. From there, she settled in, delivering three birdies and only a single bogey, on the second, to finish her day with a 74. Over her final six holes, she was 2-under, with consecutive birdies on the 4th and 5th.
After a rough opening round, senior Nikki Dunn had a huge bounce back on Monday, shooting a 75 on the day. Dunn posted 15 pars on the round, starting with eight in a row, before a bogey on the 18th put her 1-over. On the front nine, she delivered seven pars and just two bogeys – one on the 2nd and one on the 8th – to put her in the clubhouse 3-over for the round.
Krista Fenniak continued her solid play with a 78 in the second round to sit in 22nd place overall, just one stroke behind Johnson for the team lead. The junior opened with a par on the 8th, then birdied the par-5 9th to sit 1-under heading to the turn. A bogey on the 11th set her back to even, but she ran into trouble on the 13th, posting a 6 on the par-3 to sit 3-over. The Edmonton, Alberta, native bounced back, though, drilling eight pars in a row, but three bogeys in her final four holes sent her to the clubhouse at 6-over on the day.
Senior Taylor Slagle had a wild day for the Islanders, shooting 79. She posted a birdie on her opening hole, the 9th, and bogeyed just one hole all day. But a pair of double bogeys and a 7 on the par-4 17th proved her undoing, as she delivered a 79. She is tied for 29th in the tournament with a 156 through the first two rounds. Junior Lindsay Biehler shot 86 for the second day of action.
The final round of the Pat Bradley Invitational will tee off at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, with Johnson starting things for the Islanders at the 8th hole. Fenniak and Slagle will commence their rounds on the 9th, while Dunn and Biehler will start off at the 10th. A full recap will be available on GoIslanders.com, and live updates will be posted as they become available on Twitter (@IslandersGolf).