Flashes tee off in 2009 with hopes to repeat as MAC champions

Thomas Gallick

High expectations set for talented teams

The Kent State men’s and women’s golf teams will attempt to add two more Mid-American Conference championships to the program’s already impressive resume this year.

In 2008, the men’s team won its first championship since 2006, with junior John Hahn winning the individual competition.

The women’s team won its 11th consecutive MAC championship last season at Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio, with sophomore Mercedes Germino taking the individual competition.

2009 golf schedules

Women’s golf

Sept. 6-8 Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championship

(Daytona Beach, Fla.)

Oct. 9-11 Lady Tar Heel Invitational

(Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Oct. 16-18 Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship

(Knoxville, Tenn.)

Oct. 26-28 Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown

(Las Vegas, Nev.)

Feb. 7-9 Lady Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)

Feb. 22-23 Central District Invitational (Parrish, Fla.)

Mar. 1-2 Kentucky Invitational (Valdosta, Ga.)

Mar. 26-28 Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic

(Athens, Ga.)

Apr. 17-18 Lady Buckeye Invitational (Columbus, Ohio)

Apr. 23-25 MAC Championship (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Men’s golf

Sept. 12-13 Maryland Intercollegiate

River Marsh Golf Club (Cambridge, Md.)

Sept. 27-28 Ping/Golfweek Preview

Golf Mountain Golf Club (Bremerton, Wash.)

Oct. 4-5 Windon Memorial

North Shore Country Club (Glenview, Ill.)

Oct. 16-18 Bank of Tennessee at the Ridges, The Ridges Golf and C.C. (Jonesborough, Tenn.)

Oct. 26-27 David Toms Invitational

The Country Club of Louisiana (Shreveport, La.)


Mike Morrow, coach of the women’s golf team, said the team expects to be nationally ranked this season despite the loss of MAC Golfer of the Year Kirby Dreher. The Kent State graduate recorded 16 Top 10 finishes in her junior and senior years.

“Number one, she’s one of the best players we’ve ever had at Kent State,” Morrow said. “When you lose that type of player, it’s a hit for any team.”

Kent State added no freshmen to a veteran team including junior Martina Gavier, the 2007-2008 MAC Freshman of the Year, but will gain experience from junior Sarah Bradley, an Oklahoma State transfer and New Zealand native.

“We’re expecting (Bradley) to come in and make a difference on the team,” Morrow said. “She’s got a lot of experience. She’s very good with golf-course management and loves the short game.”

On the men’s team, Hahn, a two-year reigning MAC Golfer of the Year, returns to lead the Flashes.

“He’s a leader on and off the golf course,” said Kent State men’s golf coach Herb Page. “He’s proven it this summer. He’s got a chance to do some special things for Kent State golf.”

Mackenzie Hughes, last season’s MAC Freshman of the Year, also returns for the men’s team. Overall, Page said the level of talent on the men’s team impressed him this season.

“We always have good golf teams at Kent State,” Page said. “I have high expectations that this is no different. I hope that’s not being a little pompous on my part, but I state the facts.”

Page said the Flashes will strive to win a second consecutive conference championship, but the team may have the talent to go even further, like the 2007-2008 team that finished sixth at the NCAA Championship.

“(We) want to make it back to the nationals and try to win the national championship. Period,” Page said. “People say, ‘Are you crazy?’ Nope. Two years ago we had a chance (to win with) nine holes to go.”

Morrow said the golfers on the women’s team have a similar goal of making a play for the national championship.

“Obviously, we want to win the MAC, but making it to the NCAA finals is the ultimate goal,” Morrow said. “I’d love a Top-10 finish.”

Contact sports team leader Thomas Gallick at [email protected].