Men’s golf team experiences mixed results in last two tournaments

Rachel Jones

Hughes captures first individual medalist title at Fireline Towson Invitational

The No. 44 Kent State men’s golf team placed 11th of 18 teams at the Augusta State Invitational at Forest Hill Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

Previously held out of competition with a cracked rib, junior John Hahn returned to set the bar high in the tournament’s second round by shooting seven-under-par 65 — the lowest round for a Kent State golfer since Ryan Yip’s 63 in 2005. Hahn also shot rounds of 73 and 75, good to tie Minnesota’s Ben Pisani for 24th place with an overall 3-under-par 213.

Juniors Brett Cairns and J.P. Paiement tied for 35th with Coastal Carolina’s Sam Lyons with an even-par 216. Paiement led the Flashes in the third round, carding a one-under 71.

Sophomore Mackenzie Hughes followed up his first-place finish at the Fireline Towson Invitational with an overall 222, tying for 65th place with a 6-over-par.

Freshman Kevin Miller tied for 73rd place with an 8-over-par 224.

Eight of the 18 teams at the invitational are ranked in the top 30 in the nation, but Kent State coach Herb Page said the Flashes welcomed the challenge.

“This is a very good, deep field,” Page said. “This is who we want to compete against because these are the guys you have to beat if you want to be in the top 10 in the country at the end of the year.”

At their last competition, the Flashes finished runner-up of a 19-team field at the Towson Invitational. Page said he was disappointed the Flashes didn’t capture the tournament, as they did last year.

“Quite honestly, we played OK,” Page said. “It wasn’t spectacular. We’ve still got some things we have to work on.”

Hughes shined with a first-place finish, earning his first individual medalist honors with a course- and tournament-record six-under-par 66 in the final round. Hughes scored a 73 and 74 in the first and second rounds, combining for an overall 3-under par 213. This performance had the MAC name him Golfer of the Week Male Scholar Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.

Page said he was proud of Hughes’ final round and tournament victory.

“He’s in the hunt, as we call it in golf,” Page said. “He’s been close to winning, and once you win that first one, you sort of have a breakthrough. For him, I think it’ll just do a lot for his confidence.”

Junior Brett Cairns and freshman Kevin Miller tied for sixth, while Hahn and freshman Isaac Charette tied for 16th place.

With a busy schedule up ahead, Page said the golfers are starting to figure out where they stand.

“This is the second (tournament) of four in a row,” Page said. “Hopefully, we can keep it going and get some momentum. We’re working hard and getting better, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Contact sports reporter Rachel Jones at [email protected].