Men’s golf team captures special win

Doug Gulasy

Flashes come from six strokes back to win tournament

The Kent State men’s golf team found itself six shots back, in a tie for third place, heading into the final round of the Boilermaker Invitational yesterday. The Flashes would need a good performance to get into contention for their first victory of the season.

They got that good performance — and more.

The Flashes shot a 15-under-par 273 in yesterday’s final round to finish at 22-under and win by 11 strokes at Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind.

“(Yesterday’s) round was just one of the best I’ve ever seen in all my days of coaching,” said Herb Page, who is in his 30th season as men’s coach. “It was cool, but just a great course and to shoot 15-under (was) pretty fabulous. (It was a) special, special day.”

Yesterday’s score of 273 is tied for the third-lowest round in program history. Page said a key to the round was a strong start by each golfer.

“We’ve been knocking at the door,” Page said. “We’ve been playing some good golf. We just sort of got going quick and kept the momentum going. Obviously, (we) made a lot of birdies and played some great golf. … (If) you shoot that kind of score, you don’t do too many things wrong. It was (as) close to perfect as possible.”

Freshman John Hahn finished in second place at 11-under-par, four shots back of Indiana’s Jorge Campillo. It was his second consecutive top-10 finish.

“John had three great rounds,” Page said. “… Usually when you shoot 11-under-par, you’re going to win almost any tournament in the country.”

This was the Flashes’ second big final-round comeback in their past three tournaments.

They were down 12 shots and in fourth place heading into the last round of the National Invitational Tournament on March 25. There, they rallied to finish in second place, three back of tournament winner Texas Christian University.

Now the Flashes have finished in the top three of their past three tournaments as the season begins to move toward its conclusion. The team has a tournament at home Saturday before it plays in the Mid-American Conference Championships, NCAA Regionals and NCAA Championships.

Page had said that playing at Kampen Course this weekend was important because the NCAA Championships are being held there May 28-31. He said that the victory would give his team confidence heading into the season’s final weeks.

“They’re just doing better and better,” Page said. “This is a very coachable group. I’m very proud of them — how they’ve improved, the way they’re managing their games better. It’s just nice to see a group like that improve, be coachable and see them win.”

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].