Bobcats bring international flair to Victoria
Feb. 15, 2011 at 2:15 a.m.
PUISITE WINS INDIVIDUAL TITLEIt took an extra hole, but Texas State sophomore Krista Puisite beat out Tulsa's Kamryn Ruffin for the top spot at the Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate Challenge after shooting rounds of 80, 71 and 74. Ruffin and Puisite were the only two players in the tournament to shoot rounds under par. Ruffin opened the tournament with a 71.
The Texas State women golf team makes sure to sport its colors on the course, and not just those of their school.
On the side of each golf bag, next to their name, is the flag of the country they are from.
And it makes for a quirky dynamic.
"We're freakishly close," said junior golfer Gabby de Reuck, who came to Texas State from South Africa. "We all get along really well. We all have different personalities, but some how it all fits together.
"I think for a lot of people, they have a lot of trouble acclimating to the culture when the come to America," she added. "I guess since we are all foreign, we have our own foreign culture."
Whatever it is, it's producing good results.
After struggling in the first round, Texas State swept to a lead after two rounds that, while narrowed to two shots with nine holes left, they never relinquished, winning its third straight Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate Challenge on Monday.
They were led by strong rounds from sophomore golfer Krista Puisite who had rounds of 71 and 74 en route to the tournament's individual title also, her first tournament win at the collegiate level.
It was a strong showing for a team that is out of the ordinary . Most teams feature maybe one international player, and often none. Texas State's regular tournament lineup consists of four. The 10-person team has six players from other countries.
De Reuck has an idea about why international players don't normally stick at other universities.
"I've heard from other players about past experiences and others I've played with that foreign players sometimes go home quickly because they don't like it here,"
But de Reuck said the San Marcos community in which Texas State is located is friendly to her and her teammates, and has been welcoming to them.
Do the international players come to Texas State on their own or do they have to be recruited?
"Both," said Texas State golf coach Mike Akers. "I try to recruit Americans, and Texans first and foremost. But trying to beat Texas and Texas A&M is hard."
One of those players that came to him was Mara Puisite, a freshman this year and sister to Krista Puisite, the team's top player. The two are originally from Riga, Latvia.
It was while visiting her sister, Mara said, that convinced her to head to San Marcos.
"The whole team is super nice, and every one is nice to each other," she said. "Maybe because we are international, we don't look for trouble, we just get along."
The area is a helping factor, too
"It just ended up having a lot of international players. They want to get away from cold weather," Akers said. "We have a great location, between Austin and San Antonio."
DARING HIS TEAM TO WIN
Mike Akers told his team that if they won one of their first three tournaments, he would jump off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.
The Texas State coach, who his players say is afraid of heights, better start preparing himself. They plan to hold him to that bet, de Rueck said.
OVERHEARD IN THE CLUBHOUSE
Mike Akers, to the Bobcats top player Krista Puisite at the trophy table before she began her playoff hole: "This is what you get if you win: a clock. You need a clock."
Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate Challenge
Victoria Country Club, Par 72
TEAM FINISHES: Texas State 312-296-304 - 912 (+48); Kansas 301-311-308 - 920 (+56); Tulsa 312-311-300 - 923 (+56); North Texas 309-310-304 - 923 (+59); Sam Houston State 319-314-306 - 939 (+75); Ball State 320-308-316 - 944 (+80); Eastern Michigan 317-308-319 - 944 (+80); Lamar 317-312-316 - 945 (+81); UTEP 319-316-316 - 951 (+87); Houston Baptist 333-319-307 - 959 (+95); Missouri State 325-320-314 - 959 (+95); Toledo 322-322-316 - 960 (+96); UL Monroe 322-331-324 - 977 (+113); McNeese State 332-337-325 - 994 (+130); UT Pan American 330-343-326 - 999 (+135); Stephen F. Austin 348-342-347 - 1037 (+173); Houston-Victoria 393-385-397 - 1175 (+311).
TOP INDIVIDUALS: Krista Puisite, Texas State 81-71-74 - 225 (4); Kamryn Ruffin, Tulsa 71-79-75 - 225 (5); Meghna Bal, Kansas 75-75-77 - 227; Marita Engzelius, Tulsa 76-76-75 - 227; Brittany Kelly, Ball State 77-74-76 - 227; Rachael Pruett, Ball State 78-74-75 - 227; Caitlin Bliss, Texas State 75-79-75 - 229; Balbina Guajardo, Houston Baptist 82-74-73 - 229; Addison Long, North Texas 76-77-76 - 229.
TEXAS STATE: Krista Puisite 80-71-74 - 225; Gabby de Reuck 76-79-82-237; Mara Puisite 81-72-77-230; Caitlin Bliss 75-79-75 - 229; Valdis Jonsdottir 82-74-78-234.
KANSAS: Meghan Bal 75-75-77-227; Gracy Thiry 75-77-78-230; Meghan Potee 79-77-75-231; Fhong Boonraksasat 74-82-78-234; Katy Nugent 77-87-82-246.
NORTH TEXAS: Kelsey Kipp 76-76-78-230; Jacey Chun 76-74-80-230; Addison Long 76-77-76-229; Chandra Alexander 82-83-71-236; Chaslyn Chrismer 81-83-79-243.
TULSA: Kamryn Ruffin 71-79-75-225; Marita Engzelius 76-76-75-227; Charlotte Brooks 83-75-74-232; Kristina Merkle 83-81-76-240; Sarah Elliot 82-83-79-244.
EASTERN MICHIGAN: Sarah Johnson 80-75-83-238; Darby Peters 78-76-79-233; Alyssa Kwon 76-78-81-235; Usanee Laopattananont 83-79-80-242; Robyn Scott 84-84-79-247.
LAMAR: Stine Pedersen 78-76-87 - 232; Sarah Nicholas 80-77-78 - 235; Ashley Thorpe 77-82-80 - 239; Julie Aime 82-77-81 -240; Katelyn McDougal 87-86-80 - 253.
BALL STATE: Rachael Pruitt 78-74-75-227; Brittany Kelly 77-74-76-227; Autumn Duke 81-81-85-247; Katie Windlan 84-79-80-243; Meghan Perry 94-89-85-268.
SAM HOUSTON STATE: Jessica Borth 79-77-79-235; Shelby Hardy 81-75-74-230; Meghann Stevens 80-83-87-250; Landa Stewart 79-85-76-240; Meghan Musk 83-79-77-239.
TOLEDO: Michelle Hui 80-76-79-235; Erica Rivard 79-82-74-235; Piyathida Chaiyapan 81-79-82; Natasha Gobey 82-89-85-256; Emily Hardcastle 85-85-81-251.
HOUSTON BAPTIST: Balbina Guajardo 82-74-73-229; Gaia Olcese 86-78-78-242; Paige Gibson 81-85-79-245; Jessica Ngui 89-82-77-248; Alexandra Hopson 84-90-80-254.
MISSOURI STATE: Kelsey Welber 78-76-80-234; Catherine Dolan 84-80-74-238; Emma Clegg 79-87-79-245; Rikke Falsner 84-82-81-247; Emily Potts 87-82-82-251.
UT PAN AMERICAN: Majo Camey 82-83-85-250; Haley Hocott 79-85-75-239; Sarah Kothny 84-86-81-251; Elena Arroyo 85-92-85-262; Melinda Uriegas 86-89-89-264.
McNEESE STATE: Randi Fischer 81-82-76-239; Sydney Martien 80-84-82-246; Alaina Cleland 86-85-83-254; Audrey Koncaba 85-87-89-261; McKayla Anderson 87-86-84-257.
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN: Noelle Willcoxon 85-82-88-255; Sara Jones 88-87-88-263; Chelsea Simmons 88-89-90-267; Aliece Anderson 87-85-88-260; Marissa Bransburg 92-88-83-263.
HOUSTON-VICTORIA: Morgan DeSive 89-8286 - 171; Lyndie Smith 87-93-86 - 180; Larrisa Loredo 96-94-101 - 190; Devon Dueser 121-116-124 - 237.
TEXAS EL PASO: Shang Huang 79-75-77-231, Teresa Nogues 78-78-78-234,Rosana Gomez 81-84-78-243, Liz Sobczak 81-80-83-244,Emma Edin 85-83-83-251.
LOUISIANA MONROE: Taynee Pearson 76-78-76-230; Lina Lagergren 79-85-85-249; Ali Lucas 83-86-83-252; Lina Billing 84-83-85-252; Britany Hanna 89-85-80-254;
MEDALISTS: Jennifer Clark, Kansas 81-82; Trine Mortensen, Texas State 82-83; Nanna Nielsen, Tulsa 94-83; Jennifer Aranda, Texas State 87-94; Jessica Salazar 91-93; Marlee Wilson 96-100.