April 17, 2013

Johnson Finishes Second, Islanders Fifth at Southland Golf Championship

RESULTS

FRISCO, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi women's golf team shot a 306 in the third and final round of the Southland Golf Championship, finishing in fifth place as a team with a 905 for the three-day event. Sophomore Vanessa Johnson shot 77 on Wednesday to finish with a 218 (69-72-77), the best performance by an Islander in their history in the Southland Championship, to place in a tie for second among individuals at the tournament.

Lindsay Biehler posted the low round of the day for the Islanders, shooting 74, while Taylor Slagle shot 75. Krista Fenniak posted an 80 and Nikki Dunn delivered an 81. Lamar won the team title with an 891, edging Oral Roberts and Sam Houston State by seven strokes each.

"Even though this wasn't the result we were hoping for, there were plenty of things for us to be proud of," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "Lindsay had a tremendous performance today, and I couldn't be prouder of her. Taylor put together a great round, and it was great to see her finish with her best round of the weekend. And even though I know she's probably disappointed with her score today, Vanessa had an outstanding tournament and with her being just a sophomore, she will be right in the mix to win an individual title in the next two years."

It marked the final rounds in the careers of seniors Dunn and Slagle. Dunn wrapped her Islanders career with a scoring average of 77.74, the fourth-best mark in Islanders history.

"Nikki and Taylor had so many great moments that I'll remember fondly in their Islanders careers," Blackmar added. "They gave so much to Islanders Golf in their time at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, and I'm so grateful for all they've done."

Johnson got off to a tough start, posting bogey on three of the first six holes to sit 3-over. She rebounded, though, posting consecutive birdies, on 7 and 8, to get back to plus-1. She followed that with five straight pars to keep the pressure on SHSU's Shelby Hardy – her playing partner and the individual champion – but a bogey on 14 was her first of four in a row, and she wrapped the tournament with a par on 18 to finish with a 5-over 77.

Biehler got off to a solid start, with three pars and a bogey through four holes. But at that point she caught fire, using nine pars and two birdies in her next 11 holes to dip under par. A birdie on the par-4 seventh pulled her even, and her three on the par-4 11th moved her to 1-under heading to the 12th. She followed with three straight pars to enter her final three holes under par. The 16th was her lone speed bump of the day, as her tee shot went right and led to a triple bogey, but she came right back with pars on 17 and 18 to finish the round 2-over.

Slagle finished the Championship with her best round of the week, but it was a wild one that featured just seven pars. She had four bogeys and four pars in the first eight holes, but then a birdie on the 9th put her plus-3 heading to the turn. She fell back with bogeys on 10 and 11 to sit at plus-5 for the day, but notched a two on the par-3 12th to get back to plus-4. A bogey on 13 put her back at 5-over, but she finished with two birdies and three pars in her last five holes, culminating with a birdie on 18 to close her collegiate career.

Fenniak had a solid start, delivering seven pars on the front nine, with a double on the 4th and a bogey on the 9th her only blemishes to put her 3-over on her way to the turn. A double on the 10th set her back to plus-5, and then consecutive bogeys on 12, 13 and 14 pushed her total to 8-over. She bounced back with a birdie on 15, narrowly missing an eagle putt, but wound up with bogeys on the 16th and 17th to head to the 18th at plus-9. She finished with a flourish, though, as she used an outstanding drive on 18 to set up an eagle putt, and came within inches of finishing it off, settling for a birdie and an 80 on the day.

Dunn's round got off to a rough start, as she bogeyed the first and second, then wound up with a triple on the third to sit 5-over through the first three holes. She righted the ship, with five pars and a bogey in the next six holes to head to the turn at plus-6, then trimmed a stroke with a three at the par-4 10th. But bogeys at 11 and 12 set her back to plus-7, and she finished her round with bogeys on her final two holes to close the tournament with an 81.

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