Men’s golf finishes second among top competition at Aggie Invitational

The Kent State Mens Golf Team playing for meet qualification at Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna on September 16th, 2011.

The Kent State Men’s Golf Team playing for meet qualification at Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna on September 16th, 2011.

Meghan Blaha

The Kent State men’s golf team finished second at the Aggie Invitational this weekend, with Corey Conners leading the Flashes with a fourth place individual finish.

Traditions Golf Club in College Station, Texas, played host to 12 ranked teams in a three-day, 54-hole tournament noted as one of the toughest of the season. The par-72 course challenged all of the teams, including UCLA, Washington, Duke and No. 2 Alabama.

Kent State opened with an impressive first round 289, but was well behind the Crimson Tide, who shot an opening round 278. The Flashes tightened the gap the second day, trailing Alabama by one shot with a 284.

“Alabama just took no prisoners,” Flashes head coach Herb Page said. “We beat a lot of top 10 teams, a lot of top 20 teams so this just did a lot for our confidence.”

The last day set up a tight race between the two teams, with Alabama ultimately securing the top spot with a final score of 846. The Crimson Tide took home the team title as well as the top three individual titles.

A third-round low of 67 from junior Kyle Kmiecik helped Kent State finish in the second place spot, but well behind the leaders with a 865. The third round scores by the Flashes were just enough to hold off Washington, who finished only one shot behind Kent State with an 866.

Conners led the Flashes with a fourth-place 211. Connors shot a 69 on the first day and looked even better on the second, finishing with a 68. A third round score of 74 hurt him down the stretch, as the Alabama golfers finished the day strong.

“Corey Conners just had another great tournament again individually,” Page said. “It’s still early in the year for us and we are playing right with these guys.”

Kmiecik finished tied for 14th with a 218, following a strong 67 in the final round. Both Tayler Pendrith and Nick Scott finished with a 221 to tie for 27th, while Kevin Miller tied for 60th with a 231.

Page could not have been more impressed with the way all of his players contributed over the course of the tournament.

“I think the key to the whole weekend was the scores we got out of Nick Scott on the 36-hole day, and today Kyle Kmiecki came out and made seven birdies and shot a 67,” Page said. “Everybody in the line-up contributed and that’s what you have to do if you want to beat these teams, and we did it.”

The Flashes will regroup and head back to Austin, Texas, April 13 to 14 for the Morris Williams Intercollegiate.

“We played some really good golf against some stiff competition and it should do a lot for our guys confidence,” Page said. “We just saw some great golf this weekend.”

Contact Meghan Blaha at [email protected].