After handling the MAC, KSU grad to go pro

Brittany Tatgenhorst

Kira Meixner, former player of the year and conference champion, to join LPGA in 2009

Credit: DKS Editors

Life has been busy since graduation for former Kent State golfer Kira Meixner, who plans to step out of the amateur ranks and take a shot at professional golf next fall.

As part of the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s National Amateur team, Meixner has seen constant tournament play this summer as she makes her mark on the amateur golf world and prepares herself to qualify for the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour in 2009.

ÿ”I decided to take this next year and really practice and play a lot of amateur events and try and get my game to the next level by this time next year,” Meixner said.

The choice surprised some amateur golf fans who expected to see Meixner turn professional this year. The two-time British Columbia Women’s Amateur Champion said she had planned to golf at the LPGA sectional qualifiers Sept. 16-19 but recently decided to play as an amateur for one more year.

“I felt really exhausted, and my game was not quite at the level that I think it needs to be in order to try for the pros,” Meixner said. “If I go into it being fully prepared, I have a much better chance. That’s still what I want to do. That’s still my dream.”

Meixner will have plenty of opportunities during the next year to prepare herself for a hopeful leap into the professional golf world. She was selected as one of three women to represent Canada in the World Amateur Team Championship in Adelaide, Australia, Oct. 8-19. This is Meixner’s second time being selected to participate in the biannual event, which is recognized as the largest event in amateur golf. A record 126 men’s and women’s teams from around the world will compete in the championship, and Meixner wants to help the Canadian women’s team improve on its 15th-place finish at the WATC in 2006.

“We have a really strong team,” Meixner said. “Hopefully we can do really well.”

Meixner graduated from Kent State carrying a 3.78 GPA and was named an All-American Scholar by the National Golf Coaches Association four years in a row. She holds a school record at Kent State, carding a 6-under-par 66 at the Lady Northern Invitational last fall, which led Golfweek Magazine to select her as National Golfer of the Week in September 2007.

Meixner boasted the title of 2008 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year as a senior and took first-place honors in the MAC Championship in 2007. These are just a few of the accomplishments that highlight Meixner’s career at Kent State.

“Kira’s an example of the type of student-athlete that we want in the women’s golf program,” Kent State coach Mike Morrow said. “She really represented the university with class and dignity.”

Morrow said he is always proud to see his former players doing well after their years with the Kent State golf team are completed.

“As they are successful out there on those (professional) tours, it brings even more credibility to an already good program,” Morrow said.

Morrow said Meixner’s success on the golf course was only part of the legacy she left at Kent State. Morrow looks back on Meixner as an exceptional student-athlete, as well as a team motivator and leader.

“She was a great diplomat for Kent State athletics,” Morrow said.

Contact sports reporter Brittany Tatgenhorst at [email protected].