Men’s golf captures MAC title

Caleb Raubenolt

Flashes win by 19 strokes, Hahn takes first place

A week before his team’s shot for a conference title, Kent State men’s golf coach Herb Page watched the women’s team win the Mid-American Conference tournament at the Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport.

At the time, Page asked for all of the credit to be given to women’s coach Mike Morrow for the Flashes’ 11th consecutive conference championship.

How the Flashes Finished

(Par 72)

1. John Hahn: -9 (71-68-66-74)

2. Brett Cairns: -5 (76-68-68-71)

3.Mackenzie Hughes: -4


T5. Nick Latimer: E (75-73-68-72)

T33. David Ludlow: +11


If Page was waiting for a moment of his own to embrace a MAC title, he didn’t have to wait any longer than Saturday afternoon. In impressive fashion, the Flashes captured the 17th championship in program history, highlighting the leaderboard at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course with four players finishing among the top five of the nine-team tournament in Indianapolis.

“This week the men were just superb,” Page said. “I can’t tell you how impressed I am.”

Kent State finished the four-round, 72-hole MAC Championship with a 16-under-par 1136, 19 strokes ahead of runner-up Eastern Michigan. In Thursday’s opening round, the Flashes led the Eagles by only one stroke, but they consistently progressed in the second and third rounds to increase their lead to 25.

“Walking along with my players and watching them make birdies, they were playing like tour stars,” Page said. “Competition was tight (early in the tournament), and by the third round it was over.”

Sophomore John Hahn, playing the tournament with a leg injury that prevented him from a week of practice, won the tournament with a 9-under-par 279. In the award ceremony following the tournament, Hahn was named MAC Golfer of the Year for the second consecutive season.

“He’s two for two,” Page said. “You can’t say enough about John Hahn. You’re going to read a lot more about him, I can tell you that.

“But it wasn’t just a one-man show. Here’s (sophomore) Brett Cairns, who gets overlooked because of John. First-team all-MAC, runner up at the MAC (Championship), and every tournament he’s played in the spring, he’s been tough. If it weren’t for John Hahn, he’d be player of the year in the MAC also. It’s been that kind of year.”

Cairns finished in second place, four strokes behind Hahn. Both Cairns and Hahn were named to the MAC first team, and MAC Freshman of the Year Mackenzie Hughes earned second-team honors and finished in third, one stroke behind Cairns.

Page said he was really impressed with senior Nick Latimer, who finished in a tie for fifth place with an even-par 288.

“One of the nicest stories of the tournament of the weekend and the whole spring is the play of our senior, Nick Latimer,” Page said. “Nick came out of nowhere, he’s played phenomenal and he made the all-tournament team.”

Page, in his 31st year as the Flashes’ coach, was named MAC Coach of the Year for the 17th time in his career.

“I’ve had good players,” he said. “Good players make for coaches being named Coach of the Year. I’ve got to thank my guys.”

Contact sports reporter Caleb Raubenolt at [email protected].