Women’s golf team finishes 4th in its opening tournament

Pilar Lewis Sports Reporter

The Kent State women’s golf team finished fourth at the UCF Challenge last weekend, but coach Lisa Strom thinks her team can do better.

The Flashes finished behind Virginia, Wake Forest and Miami, while ahead of 13 other teams in their first meet of the season. The Flashes had a three-round score of four-over-par 868, nine strokes behind champion Virginia.

“We just didn’t get the job done, and maybe it’s a little sign of rustiness,” coach Lisa Strom said. “We’re disappointed with not coming home with a victory. The standard here in our program is winning. The bigger picture for me is, ‘Hey, where are we, where are we looking to go and what’s going to get us there?’ So now we’re just going to take that step back and reevaluate.”

The team is coming off three top-20 finishes in the nation in the last four years, two of which saw them in the top five. Last year’s season was ended by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Strom said the team’s play on par-five holes cost it the tournament.

“Being overpowered on par fives for us is not acceptable and I do not think that sat well with them,” Strom said. “If we had played the par five, just even average for what our team is capable of doing, we would have won the golf tournament by one shot.”

The wind, along with cold temperatures, also made it tough for the Flashes. 

“Hitting shots into the wind hurts the distance,” Strom said. “We didn’t handle it well.”

Despite the harsh weather conditions and the struggle with par five scoring, the Flashes had a strong first round. They were second in the opening round with a 12-under 276 score. 

The Flashes had three players finish in the top 15.

Emily Price, a junior transfer from University of South Carolina, led the team with a score of 214 (-2), making her tied for third. 

“Having her come in and make a pretty big impact right away is awesome,” Strom said. “For her, it was neat to put a great round together, and having it be our first round out of 11 months of not competing was even better.”

Pilar Lewis is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]