Hahn leads men’s golf to second-place finish

Brad Tansey

Kent State senior golfer John Hahn earned his fourth career victory on his way to leading the Flashes to a second-place finish Monday at the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn.

Hahn, a two-time Honorable Mention All-American, shot 10-under par in the 54-hole tournament to claim individual medalist honors in the Flashes’ first tournament of the season. He had 15 birdies in the invitational.

“Any time you win a golf tournament, it’s good,” Hahn said. “To start off the fall season like that, I think is good. In the past couple of falls I haven’t started off that great, so it’s good to start off that way.”

In the opening round, Hahn sunk five birdies to give him an early advantage over the competition. His four-under par first round placed him tied for first.

“I think I got my golf swing aligned properly,” he said. “I think everything else took off, I putted well this week, I chipped pretty well and I stuck to my game plan.”

Hahn had his best round in the second, ending the first day with five more birdies and an eagle on the 16th hole. The senior then carded a one-under par to finish out the tournament six strokes ahead of the field.

As a team, No. 29 Kent State finished 11 strokes behind invitational winner Louisiana State. The Flashes led by 10 strokes after the first round, but back-to-back sub-par rounds by LSU pushed the Tigers ahead.

“When you have a player with a fabulous week like Hahn had you’d like to see the team score a little better than we did so I was a little disappointed with our effort as a whole, but overall it was a good start to the year for us,” said Kent State coach Herb Page. “(Corey) Conners had a good final day, but you have to give credit to LSU.

“They shot a couple of great rounds which made it hard for anyone to make up ground.”

Conners, a freshman, finished 17th in the invitational and second on the team. Carding an even par on the last round, he shot seven-over par on the weekend.

Hahn said despite finishing second to 15th-ranked LSU, the team still has a lot to improve on.

“I don’t think we hit the right shots at the right time,” he said. “I’m not sure our team has a killer instinct yet to get the job done.”

In two weeks, Kent State will travel to Glenview, Ill., to participate in the Windon Invitational. Last season, the Flashes finished third in the invitational, with Cairns earning medalist honors.

Gopher Invitational

1. LSU

2. Kent State

3. Arkansas

4. Charlotte

5. Lamar

6. Iowa

7. Minnesota

8. UNC Greensboro

9. SMU

T10. Wisconsin

T10. Marquette

Kent State scoring (54-holes):

John Hahn (1st): -10

Corey Conners (17th): +7

Brett Cairns (27th): +11

Mackenzie Hughes (T-28th): +12

Kevin Miller (T-33rd): +16

Contact Brad Tansey [email protected].