Women’s golf competes in final tournament of fall season

Kent State’s women’s golf team finished in 11th place in the Jim West Challenge on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18.

“We didn’t play very well the first round and then followed it up with two pretty good rounds which we were happy to see,” coach Casey VanDamme said. “We closed out the fall with one of our best rounds we had going and then couldn’t quite finish it up super strong, but we played really well the last day.”

The tournament was hosted by Texas State University and took place in San Marcos, Texas.

The loaded field included three ranked teams: #2 Oklahoma State University, #14 Texas A&M and #15 Florida State University.

“It was a good field, but the one thing about golf is that you play the golf course and play against yourself,” VanDamme said.

After round one, the Flashes sat in 15th place carding an even-par, 232.

“Unfortunately, the first round we played probably our poorest 18 holes of the fall and that put us in a pretty big hole,” VanDamme said. 

After the first day of play, senior Emily Price was tied for 36th place after carding a 2-above-par, 146 on the day.

Kent State jumped up a few spots and following round two the team stood in 12th place carding a 14-above-par, 590 after two rounds.

The Flashes had their best team round in the third round shooting a 7-under-par, 281 for the round.

Final totals left Kent in 11th place and the team shot a 7-above par, 871 for the tournament.

“We did fight back well in the second two rounds, so that was good to see,” VanDamme said. “But, that first round, it was hard to overcome that.”

No. 2 Oklahoma State University won the tournament carding a 39-under-par, 825 for the tournament.

Individually, Price led the way for the Flashes finishing in 25th place carding a 1-under-par, 215.

“She played really well, particularly in the third round she played absolutely incredible,” VanDamme said. “I think she had a few hiccups on the way in, but she’ll show she can come back after not playing to what her standard is in the first round. She would have liked to have finished that out a little bit better. But, she had some very bright spots in that tournament and some stuff that will help her build towards the offseason and get ready for the spring.”

Junior Valentina Albertazzi finished tied for 37th carding a 3-above-par, 219, fifth-year student Chloe Salort finished tied for 41st carding a 4-above-par, 220, and freshman Jennifer Gu and sophomore Mayka Hoogeboom finished tied for 54th place each carding a 7-above-par, 223.

The individual tournament winner was junior Caley McGinty of No. 2 Oklahoma State University who shot a 15-under-par, 201 for the tournament.

The Jim West Challenge marked the conclusion of the fall season for the Flashes. The team had two 11th place finishes, a seventh place finish and a tie for sixth place finish in four tournaments.

“I got a real late start and it was good to get to know the players on the team and see how they do things,” VanDamme said. “Now, we’ll make some adjustments and enter kind of the improvement phase of our season.”

The team will kick off its spring schedule at the UCF Challenge in Orlando, Florida from Feb. 6 through Feb. 8. 

“We’re looking to improve upon every aspect from the mental game to the management to getting their bodies stronger and every part of our technique,” VanDamme said. “It’s a little bit different for each person individually, but we’re looking for overall improvement.”

Kathryn Rajnicek is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]