Ha takes first place as women’s golf team captures 16th consecutive MAC championship

Michael Mann

After becoming just the second women’s golf coach in Kent State’s history, Greg Robertson hoped to continue the streak of 15 Mid-American Conference championships.

Robertson and the Flashes were able to continue the program’s dominance Sunday with a win at the MAC championships, finishing 21 strokes ahead of second-place Toledo.

“The girls have handled it really well and have done the things we’ve talked about all year,” Robertson said. “They’ve focused on preparations and their attitudes on the road and at home. We came here and played this tournament like any other tournament and they did well. I’m glad to see that.”

Kent State remains the only school to win a conference title in the history of MAC women’s golf.

“This is the most enjoyable group and team that I’ve been around,” Robertson said. “I’ve been so fortunate to have inherited this group. Winning it with them is very special.”

With just one senior on the team, Robertson will have the core of his lineup returning next year. That ‘enjoyable group’ had four of the top six golfers on the individual leaderboard in the conference tournament, including junior Jennifer Ha, who placed first for the second straight year.

“She started the first day bogeying her first hole and triple-bogeyed the second hole,” Robertson said. “I actually walked with her for her last 36 holes, and we’ve worked well together when I’ve walked with her throughout the year.”

With Robertson by her side, Ha followed a 7-over first round with 69 strokes in the second round to match a MAC Championships record.

“She’s such a good player and played the way she’s capable of playing those last 36 holes,” Robertson said.

Ha finished in first place at 6-over-par, while junior Natalie Goodson took second at 7-over, and freshman Wad Phaewchimplee’s 8-over total landed her third place. Josée Doyon turned in a 13-over-par total, which put her in a tie for sixth place.

Kent State set a record with six golfers receiving All-MAC honors. Ha received First-Team All-MAC honors along with her second consecutive MAC Golfer of the Year Award. Doyon and Phaewchimplee were also named to the First-Team All-MAC. Phaewchimplee also received honors as MAC Freshman of the Year.

Goodson, senior Erin Hawe, and sophomore Taylor Kim were named to the Second-Team All-MAC.

“It just goes to show what work these players have put in and done all year,” Robertson said. “Knowing we have five All-MAC players coming back next year is a great feeling.”

Contact Michael Mann at [email protected].