Puisite leads Bobcats into Claud Jacobs Challenge
Feb. 11, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
A year ago Krista Puisite was a college freshman, but you couldn't tell judging by her performance on the golf course.
She looks to carry over the momentum she gained during a fantastic freshman campaign into the 2011 Claud Jacobs Challenge.
"I think I'm just adjusting and now I'm more used to playing for the team which I've never done before," said Puisite.
Puisite and her Texas State teammates return to Victoria Country Club to host the tournament they've won three straight years.
"It's always good to go back to a course you've had success at," said fifth-year Bobcats coach Mike Akers.
Added Puisite: "It's easier now that we've played on it so many times. Just to know the course, the holes, which clubs to hit."
Puisite is a native of Riga, Latvia. She played high school golf at Riga State Gymnasium No. 1.
She won the Latvian Amateur Championship in 2008, as well as the Latvian Juniors Championship in 2008 and 2009.
Akers first saw Puisite play at the Dural Publix Junior Golf Classic. He had no doubt she had the talent to play well at the college level.
"At that moment I knew full well I wanted her on my team," Akers said.
Although she never took a recruiting trip to campus, Puisite chose Texas State over Central Florida, North Carolina and Texas.
During the fall Puisite, like most college freshmen, had to adjust to living away from home.
On top of that she had to play a new type of team golf she wasn't used to playing in Latvia.
"We never really had one coach and a team," Puisite said. "You know that if you play bad and don't score that well then you're messing up the team."
Last spring, Puisite didn't play like a wide-eyed freshman as she played in all 12 events and led the Bobcats with a 76 stroke average.
Puisite finished third after shooting an 11-over 227 for a +11 in the Jacobs Challenge last year.
She shot a six-over 219 that earned her a tie for second individually at the SLC Tournament held at the Ravens Nest Golf Club in Huntsville, helping the Bobcats win the SLC and earn a spot in the NCAA West Regionals.
Puisite also won the 2009 South Land Conference Player of the Year and All-SLC First Team honors.
"I think I was more confident because we played on that course and we practiced there for a little bit," Puisite said.
This season Puisite was joined on campus by her younger sister Mara, making for a more comfortable sophomore season.
"My freshman year I felt like I was away from home and this year I feel like I'm at home," said Puisite about having her sister as a teammate. "That is the biggest difference."
Although he said the siblings have a strong work ethic on and of the course, Akers doesn't see a family resemblance in their golf games.
"They play golf completely opposite," Akers said. "Their style of game is completely opposite."
Added Puisite: "We're competitive, but still we push each other."
The Jacobs challenge kicks off Saturday with a college-am and the teams play 36 of their 54-hole stroke play at the event on Sunday starting at 8:15 a.m.