Women’s golf ties for sixth in final regular season tournament

Lily Flynn

The Kent State women’s golf team finished its regular season over the weekend after tying for sixth place with Wisconsin at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational in Columbus.

“This tournament was actually great preparation for the [Mid-American Conference Championships],” assistant coach Maddi Swaney said. “We hadn’t played in over three weeks, so getting our competitive spirits back up and playing the Scarlet course was a great test of golf to prepare us for the MAC.”

The Flashes competed over a two-day period, fluctuating their position in the ranking repeatedly, but remaining tied for sixth place after both days of competition.

“I think anytime you play in a tournament like this, if you can finish in the top five, it would have been a really solid week,” associate head coach Rob Wakeling said. “We were really close there. It is a good step forward to get ready for Mid-American Conference Championships next week. [The team] did a lot of good things. It’s a tough course, and the conditions were very tough.”

On Saturday, the Flashes shot 623 (314-309) as a team over 36 holes, tying for sixth with Indiana and falling just three shots short of fifth-place Wisconsin.

“I felt as though we came back on a bit of a stronger note during that second round,” Swaney said. “I felt we could get some momentum going into the third round because we beat some teams that were ranked above us.”

Leading the way for the Flashes, sophomore Jennifer Ha shot a 76 on the first 18 holes and ended the first day individually ranked in fourth place with a 73 and a birdie on hole No. 9 after the second round of the tournament.

In addition to Ha, sophomore Erin Hawe and freshman Josée Doyon also finished in the top 20 after two rounds on Saturday. Hawe shot 77 during both rounds, while Doyon shot 78 and 77, respectively.

The Flashes began the third and final round Sunday, pairing with Penn State and Augusta State. The team held its sixth-place spot in the tournament, shooting 314 in the last round to finish with an overall team score of 937.

“It was a pretty strong field,” Wakeling said. “I’m pretty sure we ended up beating four Big Ten schools, four teams ranked ahead of us in the ranking, so that was definitely a positive for the weekend.”

Hawe once again competed well, adding three more birdies to her score during the final round to finish with a total of 10 in the competition. Ha finished the final round with a 76, giving her an overall score of 225, her best score of the season. Her overall score also ranked her in third individually, tying with Liz Nagel of Michigan State.

“She played well,” Wakeling said. “[In] her last two tournaments she’s finished second and third, so she’s really playing well. She had a rough patch and pulled it together and played the last six holes one under, so I was really proud of her for doing that.”

Hawe shot a 78 for her third round, falling just shy of three straight 77 rounds. Her overall score of 232 placed her in 13th for the tournament. Doyon shot 79 in her final round and tied for 22nd with an overall score of 234.

The Flashes will continue play next weekend, competing for a 15th-consecutive win in the MAC Championship at the Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio.

“We’re going to go back and work on some of the girls’ weaknesses, some of the things they struggled with this week,” Wakeling said. “I think we know Longaberger Golf Course pretty well. Both the men’s and the women’s team have won MAC Championships there in the last four or five years. So I think we know the course well, and I think we know what to practice to get ready for it.”

Lily Flynn is the women’s golf reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].