Women’s golf team finishes ninth in Windy City

Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics.

Photo courtesy of Kent State Athletics.

Grant Engle

The Kent State women’s golf team finished tied for ninth at the Windy City Collegiate Championship in Golf, Ill., a tournament that featured 11 of the top 50 teams in the nation.

The Flashes were led by freshman Jennifer Ha, who shot a team-low 221, which was good enough to tie for 11th overall.

Senior Mercedes Germino had the low round of the tournament for Kent State yesterday, when she shot 74 in the final round, giving her 225 for the tournament and finishing tied for 25th.

Germino was happy with her overall performance in a tournament that featured several elite teams, including the University of Texas, which is ranked No. 1 in the country by Golfweek Magazine.

“I played very good for the most part,” Germino said. “I was able to manage the golf course and put myself in position to hit good shots.”

Kent State coach Mike Morrow was enthusiastic about the team’s performance Monday and Tuesday. He pointed out the individual efforts of Germino and Ha, calling them “two really good individual performances in a strong field.”

Morrow was clearly happier with the team’s performance in the Windy City Collegiate than the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., Sept. 17-18.

“We saw a nice improvement from the last tournament,” Morrow said. “Three less strokes and we would have tied for fourth place in a great tournament. There’s still work to do, but we took a step forward.”

Senior Shamira Marshall shot 227 to tie for 31st place, and senior Mandi Morrow was not far behind, shooting 229 and tying for 42nd place.

Erin Hawe rounded out the scoring for Kent State tying for 59th place while shooting 234. Hawe was disappointed with her performance but was happy with the team’s overall performance, and she said she noticed some bright spots in her game.

“I didn’t show my potential out there,” Hawe said. “But I putted the ball a lot better than I did in Michigan a few weeks ago.”

Junior Jackie Yanch played in the tournament as an unattached individual, meaning her score would not be counted with the team’s overall score. Yanch shot a 241 for the tournament, and said she played much better in the final round than the first two rounds of the tournament.

Yanch said that her mindset is the same in every tournament, whether she is playing as a scoring member of the team or as an unattached individual.

“I’m always out there to play my best no matter what,” Yanch said. “I putted a lot better today, and that put less pressure on me when hitting shots to the green.”

Germino and Yanch agreed that playing difficult courses against the top programs in the country is good for the team, especially after a promising showing Tuesday.

Germino was quick to heap the praise on coach Morrow for the team’s strength of schedule.

“Mike has done a great job at getting us into great tournaments against great competition,” Germino said.

“A performance like this is definitely a confidence builder,” Yanch said. “We play an awesome schedule, and it shows that we can play with the top 20 programs in the country.”

The team’s next tournament will be a cross-country flight away at the Stanford Intercollegiate in Stanford, Calif., Oct. 14-16.

Contact Grant Engle at [email protected].