FRISCO, Texas – Sophomore Vanessa Johnson shot a 72 in the second round of the 2013 Southland Women's Golf Championship to sit in second place overall through 36 holes of the event. As a team, the Islanders sit in fourth place, 12 strokes behind leader Central Arkansas heading into the final round.
"After the way we played yesterday, it was a little disappointing to see us stumble a little bit today," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "We had a number of opportunities today, and just weren't able to convert them. The good news is that we're still in striking distance, and I know we're very capable of matching or breaking our school record from yesterday. That will put us right in the mix.
"Vanessa came out and had another strong performance today, and it's really exciting to have her in the running for medalist honors tomorrow," Blackmar added. "I was also really proud of how Taylor [Slagle] bounced back after a tough fifth hole. She really came through on the back nine, and we needed that kind of performance out of her today."
UCA sits atop the leaderboard with a 587 (293-294), while Lamar delivered the best outing of the day, shooting a 292 to sit in second through the first 36 holes at 591. Oral Roberts is in third with a 596 (299-297), just three strokes ahead of the Islanders (292-307—599).
Sam Houston State's Shelby Hardy holds the individual lead with a 139 (68-71) through two rounds. The Bearkat golfer has registered two of the five rounds under par during the tournament. Johnson (69-72—141) is two strokes behind in second, while McNeese State's Lina Lagergren (73-69—142) sits third.
For the Islanders, Nikki Dunn (72-77—149) sits in a tie for 11th overall, while Taylor Slagle (77-77—154) is in 22nd. Krista Fenniak (74-81—155) is one stroke back, in 23rd, with Lindsay Biehler (83-82) posting 165 through the opening two rounds.
Johnson started her round with a bogey on one, then registered six straight pars. She suffered her second bogey of the round on the eighth, but bounced right back with a birdie on the ninth to sit one over heading to the turn. On the back nine, she surged, posting four pars and two birdies over the next six holes to get under par for the day. She fell back with bogeys on 16 and 17, but responded with a brilliant second shot on 18, setting her up for a birdie to enter the clubhouse with a 72 for the round.
Dunn battled a bout with illness to post a 77 for the second round. The senior started strong, with eight pars and a single bogey on the fourth to sit 1-over heading to the back. She added pars on 10 and 11, but ran into a rough spell starting on 12. She posted five bogeys over the final seven holes, but notched a birdie 2 on the par-3 14th to finish her round at plus-5.
Slagle started with pars on her first four holes, but ran into trouble on the fifth, as a triple-bogey six set her back three strokes. She followed that with a bogey on the sixth to fall to plus-4 on the day, but responded with four straight pars to remain at 4-over on her way to the 11th. A bogey on 11 was countered with her lone birdie of the day, on 12, and she added four pars in a row to remain at 4-over. A bogey on 17 was followed by a par on the 18th, and she ended her day at 5-over.
Fenniak suffered three bogeys on the front to go along with a double on the par-4 seventh to sit at plus-5 heading to the 10th. She notched par on 10, but then went on to post bogeys on each of the next four holes to move to 9-over. She was able to rebound with four straight pars, though, to card an 81.
Biehler got out to a solid start, with a birdie on the par-3 eighth putting her 2-over. But a double on the ninth was accompanied by six bogeys on the back nine, as she posted an 82 for the day. She will be the first to tee off for the Islanders at 8:40, and will be followed by Fenniak (8:48), Slagle (8:56), Dunn (9:04) and Johnson (9:12). Updates will be provided throughout the third round on Golfstat.com and via Twitter (@IslandersGolf).