Rain a factor in men’s golf tournament

Doug Gulasy

The Kent State men’s golf team knew the weather would be a factor in its tournament over the weekend.

But the Flashes likely didn’t know just how much of a factor it would be.

The Flashes shot 56-over-par in the rainy, windy and cold conditions at the Scarlet Course in Columbus to finish third place at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate tournament, eight shots back of tournament winner Colorado.

“The conditions of the tournament were absolutely brutal — temperature in the 40s, the wind blowing, chill factor in the low 30s, rain off and on,” Kent State coach Herb Page said. “So the scores, as you can tell, were significantly higher than normal.

” … But overall, we played pretty solid, just a few short. (We were) just a few shots short from winning, so (it was) a pretty decent weekend.”

This weekend’s tournament was the first this spring that the Flashes had played in the North. Previously they had competed in Puerto Rico and Arizona.

Page said that before the tournament, playing in the North would be a big transition for his team, particularly because of the weather. But even he seemed surprised at how bad the weather was this weekend.

“You saw how good the weather was in Kent, Ohio, last week — we had shorts on every day,” Page said, laughing. “It just turned. We had five great days. We come down here, and it was miserable — rain pants, rain suits. So this was a good transition. This was northern golf. What are you going to do?

“But our goal is to get in the NCAA Regionals. One of the three sites is at Ohio State on May 15. Our goal is to come back down here at the NCAA Regionals. That’s how we’re going to get to the finals. The course will play completely different, but that’s why we’re up playing up North.”

The Flashes were in fourth place after Saturday’s 36 holes, in which they shot 41-over-par. They improved their placing and their scores in yesterday’s final round.

Freshman John Hahn shot a 1-under-par 70 in yesterday’s round to finish tied for 10th place at 12-over. His round was the only one under par in the entire tournament.

“I just think that he got focused,” Page said. “He shot 79 (Saturday) afternoon (and shot) 70 (yesterday). What’s the difference? He chipped and putted the ball very, very well. He scored his golf ball a lot better.”

Page also mentioned senior David Markle’s performance. Markle tied for seventh place in the tournament at 11-over-par. In the Flashes’ three tournaments this spring, Markle has tied for sixth, tied for first and tied for seventh.

Overall, Page said the team hit the ball well throughout the tournament despite the conditions. He also said he was glad to see the team compete for the entire tournament in a difficult situation.

“It’s just hard to explain to you how tough the conditions were — it was close to non-golf,” Page said. “I’m proud of my guys. They were very mentally tough. They hung in there, and they just kept grinding all weekend because it was not fun.”

Team Results

Robert Kepler Intercollegiate

1. Colorado: +48

2. Michigan State: +51

3. Kent State: +56

4. Ohio State: +57

5. Northwestern: +60

Kent State Players

T7. David Markle: 73-76-75 (+11)

T10. John Hahn: 76-79-70 (+12)

T18. David Ludlow: 78-74-75 (+14)

T39. Brett Cairns: 78-77-79 (+21)

T45. Tom Ballinger: 79-77-80 (+23)

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].