Men’s golf stumbles to bottom-third finish in Columbus

Then a sophomore, Kent State’s Gisli Sveinbergsson tees off on the 16th hole at the Mid-American Conference championship in Nashport, OH. The Flashes won the conference, while Sveinbergsson won golfer of the year. [FILE]

Zachary McKnight

The Kent State men’s golf team was looking for that missing piece of the puzzle at the Kepler Intercollegiate.

Instead, they found stiff competition and a bottom-third finish.

The Flashes finished 11th out of 15 teams with a 39-over-par.

Coach Jon Mills said the performance was frustrating.

“It’s very frustrating,” Mills said. “You understand how good they can be and it’s frustrating when they can’t produce results. It’s tough to watch as a coach and more frustrating for the players.”

One of the rounds got canceled due to rain, Mills wasn’t making excuses for the bad conditions faced.

“Conditions were bad, but they were tough for everybody,” Mills said.

Mills said the same struggles have plagued the season.

“It’s kind of the same story,” Mills said. “We have the talent but that only gets you so far. We just keep failing to produce par scores. It’s tough to put your finger on.”

Mills proposed one reason for the performance.

“We’re taking too much out onto the golf course instead of playing,” Mills explained. “I think guys are carrying a bad shot into the next hole and into the foreseeable future, and you can’t think about that. You can’t dwell on those kind of shots.

“We need consistency from everyone involved. There are times we play good then we play bad. We need everybody in that complete mindset.”

Mills then said what they need to do going into Aurora for the Mid-American Conference Championships

“We’ll go into this week relaxed and prepared,” Mills said. “We need to keep everything simple with everything we do. We also need to work on our short game because if your short game is good, there’s less pressure getting shots to the green. Less pressure equals better shots.”

The MAC Championships start on Friday in Aurora, Ohio.

Zachary McKnight is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].