Women’s golf wins Mid-American Conference

Coach Greg Robertson poses for a portrait with the MAC championship trophy and his team at Silver Lake Country Club on Sunday, April 23, 2017, after Kent State won its 19th consecutive championship. [FILE]

Erik Svensson

The players of the women’s golf team giggled and grinned as they lined up holding a Kent State flag, standing behind a trophy made out of wood and glass.

The Flashes won the Mid-American Conference Championship for the 19th consecutive year. The team has won the tournament every year since women’s golf was introduced to the MAC. The team is ranked No. 15 in the NCAA.

“It feels good,” coach Greg Robertson said. “It never gets old. Especially to come out the last day and take charge and to shoot even for the day. It’s good to see.”

The team finished 11 strokes over par, 34 strokes ahead of second place Northern Illinois University.

Sophomore Michaela Finn ended two strokes under par, a mark that led the Flashes. Finn also won individual tournament champion.

Despite the achievement, Finn is already looking forward to the team’s next tournaments.

“It felt really good,” Finn said. “It felt good to play well, and now we’ve got big tournaments like regionals and nationals. It gave me a lot of confidence, which is good. I’m doing what I always try to do.”

Kent State took the top four spots, with freshman Pimnipa Panthong, freshman Karoline Stormo and senior Wad Phaewchimplee following Finn. Sophomore Kelly Nielsen rounded out Kent State’s team and tied for 23rd place.

“Hopefully we’re getting some momentum going into regionals,” Robertson said. “They played solid. They worked hard and did what they had to. They all were focused on what they needed to get done.”

The team will next compete in the NCAA Regionals, which begin on May 8.

“The whole goal every day is to get better than the day before,” Robertson said. “After this it’s getting back to work, and we’re gonna get prepared. We just need to stay focused.”

The individual awards were given out after the championship, with some Flashes being recognized. Panthong was named the 2017 MAC golfer of the year, while coach Greg Robertson won coach of the year. Phaewchimplee and Stormo joined Finn and Panthong on the All-MAC first team, as well as the All-tournament team.

Erik Svensson is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected].