MAGNOLIA, Texas – The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's golf team shot an opening-round 315 to sit in eighth place after the first round of the 2014 Southland Women's Golf Tournament. Senior Lindsay Biehler and Vanessa Johnson each shot 77 in the first 18 holes for the Islanders.
"We didn't play to our potential today," head coach Carol Blackmar said, "but we made a number of solid shots when we needed them. We're in a position where we are still within striking distance heading into the second round, and if we eliminate some of the mistakes we made today, we're still very much alive. There's still a lot of golf to be played this week."
Claudia Galindo (80), Krista Fenniak (81) and Ana Paredes (84) rounded out the scorers for the Islanders. Paige Nelson of Sam Houston State and Piper Kyle of Stephen F. Austin share the individual lead after shooting 71 in the opening round. Oral Roberts' Shinwoo Lee was the only other player to shoot par or better, carding a 72.
The team race is led by Lamar and Central Arkansas, who tied atop a tight race with a 304. SHSU is just one stroke back at 305, while Stephen F. Austin, who played with the Islanders on Tuesday, is in fourth at 310. Oral Roberts (311), McNeese State (312) and Houston Baptist (314) are the next three teams ahead of A&M-Corpus Christi.
Johnson had a strong round, posting 13 pars en route to a 77. She started with four straight pars, but dropped a stroke on the par-3 fifth with a bogey. She responded with a birdie three on the par-4 sixth, but the eighth saw her post a seven on the par-4 to fall to plus-3. She concluded her round by shooting 38 on the back nine, with seven pars and only bogeys on 11 and 16, wrapping with a solid par save on 18.
Biehler started with pars on the first two holes, then alternated bogey and par over the next five holes to fall to 3-over. She used an outstanding approach shot on eight to tally a birdie, then wrapped her opening round with a par to sit plus-2 at the turn. A bogey on the 10th dropped her to 3-over, but she followed that with five straight pars. Consecutive bogeys on 16 and 17 pushed her to 5-over, but saved par on 18 to enter the clubhouse at 77.
Galindo posted one of her finest rounds as a collegiate golfer, notching an 80 to sit at plus-8. She got out to a dubious start with a double bogey on the first, but she came right back with a birdie on the second to return to plus-1. She bogeyed four and five to fall back to plus-3, but was even over the next nine holes, posting seven pars with a bogey on the ninth and a birdie on the 11th. Over the last four holes, though, she stumbled slightly, notching three bogeys and a double to finish with an 80.
Fenniak also started with a double on the first, but rebounded with five pars and three bogeys over the next eight holes to sit plus-5 heading to the 10th. After a par on 10, she notched a four on the par-3 11th to sit 6-over. After pars on 12 and 13, she bogeyed three of the next four holes, but responded nicely with a par on 18 to finish off her 81.
Paredes posted seven bogeys on the front nine to sit 7-over headed to the 10th. She was even over the next five holes, scoring birdie on the par-4 12th along with a bogey on the par-5 13th. Then on the final three holes, she shot bogey-bogey-triple, entering the clubhouse with an 84.
The Islanders will tee off on Wednesday starting with Paredes at 8:40 a.m., with Fenniak to follow at 8:48. Galindo will head off third, at 8:56, with Biehler (9:04) and Johnson (9:12) rounding out the team's lineup. A&M-Corpus Christi will be paired with HBU for second-round action.
Live results will be available on GolfStat.com, and updates will be provided as they become available on Twitter (@IslandersGolf).
T13. Vanessa Johnson (77)
T13. Lindsay Biehler (77)
T27. Claudia Galindo (80)
T33. Krista Fenniak (81)
T47. Ana Paredes (84)