HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark. – Junior Vanessa Johnson delivered a third-round 74 to take first place at the UALR Women's Golf Classic on Tuesday at Diamante Country Club. Johnson shot 219 (74-71-74) for the three-round event to garner the title by two strokes over Central Arkansas' Sarah Brown.
"I am so proud of Vanessa, not just for her accomplishment, but for the way she went about it," head coach Carol Blackmar said. "She really did an outstanding job of being focused and playing in the moment, so that her mistakes did not compound themselves. Her mental game was really strong and it showed in her consistency from hole to hole and round to round.
"Today, as a team, we faced a tough situation with only four players able to compete, including two freshmen," she added, "but I know that we have the ability to be right alongside the rest of our conference based on what I saw this week."
This marks the second title in Johnson's collegiate career, joining her first-place finish at the Harold Funston Invitational, hosted by Sam Houston State, in the fall of 2012. She also finished second at the 2013 Southland Championships and at the 2013 ORU Shootout, giving her four top-five finishes in her career.
Middle Tennessee State had the third- and fourth-place finishers, with Avery George (75-76-73—224) and Allie Knight (77-77-72—226) taking top-four spots for the Blue Raiders. High Point's Sarah Bae rounded out the top five with her 228 (75-77-76).
MTSU took the top team spot with a three-round 921 (306-311-304), besting second-place Oral Roberts (313-309-308—930) by nine strokes for the title. Wichita State (310-307-314—931), UCA (324-303-308—935) and Georgia State (308-310-318—936) rounded out the top five.
Lindsay Biehler (76-78-83—237) placed 23rd for the Islanders, while Ana Paredes (84-79-84—247) and Claudia Galindo (87-85-87—259) also scored for A&M-Corpus Christi. The Islanders were hampered by an injury to senior Krista Fenniak, who was forced to withdraw after two rounds, having shot 79-81—160 in the opening 36 holes.
The Islanders will return to the links next week, with the HBU Husky Invitational slated for Monday, March 31, and Tuesday, April 1. For all the latest information on the Islanders Golf team, be sure to follow the squad on Instagram and Twitter (@IslandersGolf) and 'Like' the team's official Facebook page (Islanders Golf).