Flashes finish third at Louisiana Classic

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]

Amanda Levine

Ian Holt tied for third place in the 33rd annual Louisiana Classic, and the Kent State men’s golf team finished in third place behind Texas A&M and Illinois.

After the first round of the tournament Monday, Holt was ranked first, but dropped two spots by the end of the tournament.

“Ian is one of the most powerful players in the country,” Kent State coach Herb Page said. “(His) last day he didn’t have his A-game, but he competed and stayed in the game.”

Holt finished the tournament at -6 and had 10 birdies over its two days. Page said Holt played great his first two rounds and struggled in the last round, but was able to finish strong.

Holt said overall he did well in the tournament.

“I putted pretty well this week,” Holt said. “(The wet conditions) somewhat helped us. … We’re a team that hits long shots so it put me at an advantage.”

The Flashes competed against three other nationally ranked schools, two of which had previously been ranked higher than Kent.

Last year, the Flashes finished first in the tournament, in front of Texas A&M and Illinois. Holt said the team made some “mental mistakes” and will improve by “playing and getting in more rounds.”

“The bottom line is we didn’t shoot low enough scores,” Page said. “There’s no shame in that, but we did finish -13.”

Junior Gisli Sveinbergsson and freshman Will Kurtz were also successful after they both shot -1 (71) on the final day. Sveinsbergsson tied for 21st with Nicolas Platret (Louisville), Logan Lockwood (Texas State) and Zander Lozano (University of Texas-San Antonio). Kurtz tied for 34th alongside five other athletes.

During the fall season, Kurtz competed in two tournaments, but had an injury that put him out two to three weeks. He was a state high school champion and “really helped the team,” Page said.

“He’s a very accomplished player,” Page said. “(Kurtz) will get better with more experience.”

Senior Chase Johnson had 14 birdies throughout the tournament, second-most in the field, finishing at -3 and tying for 12th place.

Page said Johnson struggled with distance control and problems with his wedge play but kept it together long enough to score well.

Junior Bjarki Petursson tied for 48th in the tournament.

The Flashes will continue their season on March 11 in the General Hackler Championship. The two-day tournament will be hosted by Coastal Carolina University at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Amanda Levine is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].