Men’s golf tees off in Maryland

Brittany Tatgenhorst

It isn’t just experience or the hope for beginner’s luck that composes the Kent State men’s golf team. From freshman to senior, the talent on the team spans across all four classes.

After a surprising qualifier, senior Nick Latimer, junior David Ludlow, sophomores John Hahn and Brett Cairns and freshman Mackenzie Hughes will represent the team at the Maryland Intercollegiate in Cambridge, Md. Saturday.

Hughes led the qualifier last week, impressing both his teammates and his coach.

“He’s young,” Director of Golf Herb Page said of the 17-year-old Canadian. “But he’s got an accomplished record and he’s an accomplished player. He will be interesting to watch.”

Page wasn’t the only one excited about the fresh talent Hughes brings to the team. Hahn, who Page calls the team’s top returning player, said the freshman’s performance in the qualifier was fantastic. Hahn is no stranger to strong young players, as he earned the title of Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Year as a freshman last season.

“I was very impressed with Mackenzie,” Hahn said.

Along with the freshmen, Page was impressed by the recent play of the only senior on the team, Latimer.

“I’m really happy with Nick,” Page said. “He’s been working hard and he’s getting a great opportunity here.”

This is Latimer’s second time seeing tournament play at Kent State. Latimer played his first tournament last year at the FirstEnergy Intercollegiate where he finished with an 8-over-par.

“Latimer played consistent all week,” Hahn said. “Consistency from every player is going to be important.”

One preseason poll has the Flashes ranked 17th after their surprising sixth place finish in the NCAA Division I Championship in May.

“We were ranked around 30th all year last year, then we get to the finals and finished sixth,” Hahn said. “Some people would call it a fluke, but obviously we didn’t think so.”

Page hopes to get off to a good start this fall to secure the team’s bid to the national championship tournament in the spring.

“It starts this weekend,” Page said. “I tell my guys this is a marathon, not a sprint. Let’s play up to, or better than our ranking.”

Contact sports reporter Brittany Tatgenhorst at [email protected].