Men’s golf places fourth in ‘mediocre’ outing

Caleb Raubenolt

Kent State’s men’s golf team entered the final round of the 40th annual Robert Kepler Invitational yesterday morning in third place, with the tournament leader, Northwestern, clinging to a mere two-stroke advantage.

The Flashes would need a great third round of golf, reminiscent of how they played to finish first at the Towson Collegiate Invitational two weeks ago, to get their second victory of the season.

But they didn’t play great. In fact, the only word coach Herb Page used to describe his team’s performance in the last 18 holes were “mediocre” and “very average.”

“We had a chance to win coming into the last day,” Page said after Kent State ended the 13-team event in fourth place with a 50-over-par 902. “We made a lot of sloppy mistakes (and) a lot of unforced errors.”

The tournament, which was held at Ohio State’s par-71 Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, marked the Flashes’ fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Including their win at the Towson Invitational and placing third at last weekend’s Administaff ASU Invitational, Kent State has managed to earn spots in the top five at their last three outings.

“We’ve been playing pretty good, but we just didn’t get it done today,” Page said.

Page added that the course, known for its challenging setup, was worsened by high winds and caused his players to struggle with finding their comfort zones.

“We shot 21-under (last week), and this week the winner shot (40-over), he said.” “(It was) just a hard golf course.

“The winds blew and pins were difficult. It’s just tradition – you go to Ohio State and they make the course play very difficult.”

Senior Nick Latimer led Kent State after two rounds Saturday, carding an eagle on a par-4 in the opening round and trimming his score to a 4-over-par total for third place. But Latimer struggled yesterday, adding 10 strokes to his score and finishing in a tie with teammate Brett Cairns at 18th place.

“(Latimer) was awesome, (but) as good as he did (Saturday), he played miserable (yesterday),” Page said. “Two good rounds helps, but you’ve got to play three good ones. That’s the way the whole team played.”

Sophomore John Hahn ended the tournament with a team-best 12-over-par 225 in a three-way tie for 14th place. Hahn, entering the 74-man event after winning his second straight Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Week, shot a 72 in second round.

Junior David Ludlow’s best outing of the weekend came in the final round, scoring a 73 to finish tied for 29th overall. Freshman Mackenzie Hughes finished tied at 34th place, with a 19-over-par 232.

Contact sports reporter Caleb Raubenolt at [email protected].