Women’s golf jumps to third on last day of tournament

Brad Tansey

The Kent State women’s golf team turned in its best performance ever at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend.

The Flashes finished third overall, shooting 10-over par as a team. Host team Tennessee won the tournament for the second year in a row, turning in a score of 15-under par. Arkansas finished second with a score of 5-over par.

Kent State coach Mike Morrow said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We finished pretty strong in the last four or five holes,” he said. “We looked like we were sitting in fourth of fifth place, and we sort of had a short burst at the end and made some birdies down the stretch so we were able to catch third place.”

Kent State senior Martina Gavier led the Flashes in the tournament, carding a score of 8-under par, which was good enough for third place overall in the 83-player tournament. She sunk a team-high 15 birdies over the span of the three-round invite.

Mercedes-Benz Championship

Kent State Final Results

1. Martina Gavier (3): -8

2. Shamira Marshall (T23): +4

3. Mercedes Germino (T30): +6

4. Sarah Bradley (T42): +10

5. Mandi Morrow (T66): +17

Individual Participant: Erin Hawe (T7): -1

Team Results (15 teams)

1. Tennessee: -15

2. Arkansas: +5

3. Kent State: +10

4. Mississippi: +11

5. Notre Dame: +12

“My putting has been phenomenal for the last three weeks,” Gavier said. “I totally attribute my scores to that. I practice so much that I really feel confident with my swing.”

Gavier tied for the best score in the third round with teammate freshman Erin Hawe, who participated in the tournament as an individual. The teammates both carded a score of 7-under par for the round.

Hawe scored seven birdies in the round, including four straight on the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes. Gavier totaled eight birdies in the round.

Mississippi junior Natalie Gleadall and Tennessee sophomore Erica Popson tied for first place, finishing with a score of 9-under par.

Hawe finished tied for seventh place overall, which was the best finish in her early career.

Hawe said her teammates helped her throughout the third round.

“They gave me some tips with my putting because I was really struggling with it the first day,” she said. “The greens were faster than what I’m used to. They told me to embrace the pressure and don’t play scared.”

The Flashes started off slow in the first round, finishing the day in fifth place with a score of 6-over par. Tennessee turned in a record-breaking round by tallying a team score of 8-under par. The Volunteers had three players with sub-par scores at the end of the first day.

“Tennessee pretty much walked away from the field,” Morrow said. “They are a very talented team and they got off to a good start.”

Kent State junior Mercedes Germino led the Flashes on day one, finishing 1-under par. The score was good for eighth place after round one.

After a 1-over par performance in the first round, Gavier started to heat up. She sunk four birdies in the last 10 holes of the round, which moved her up to eighth place.

Tennessee continued its dominance, recording a team score of 4-under in the second round to give the team a 20-stroke lead on the rest of the field.

Kent State jumped two spots in the final round. The team finished the day 2-under par, which was their best round of the weekend.

Contact Brad Tansey at [email protected].