Weather bothers women golfers in Puerto Rico

Josh Johnston

Team finishes third, Gavier shines in final round of tournament

The Kent State women’s golf team can’t complain after spending three days in Puerto Rico. The women placed third at the 56-hole Lady Puerto Rico Classic, hosted by Purdue, yesterday.

“It was beautiful,” senior Kira Meixner said. “It was pretty windy because we’re right by the water but nothing to complain about. It was lovely.”


ROUND 1 2 3

9. Kira Meixner -2 -1 +6

T15. Martina Gavier +8 E -2

T26. Kirby Dreher +4 -1 +7

34. Tara Delaney +2 +1 +7

60. Maddi Swaney +7 +4 +4

However, the weather did manage to hurt the women’s game.

“It was really windy and the pin placements on the green were really difficult,” coach Mike Morrow said.

The women led the field after two days of golfing, but the tough conditions took their toll on the team.

“It wasn’t our day,” Morrow said. “But when it isn’t your day and you still come in third place, I think that’s a heck of a statement about your team.”

Fourteen teams at the tournament were ranked in the top 50, including the Flashes at 14. Morrow said the team rises to the occasion against the best programs.

“We try to play in the hardest tournaments we can get in,” he said. “The better the competition, most of the time, the better we play.”

Kent State finished above No. 5 Florida State, No. 6 Arkansas and No. 10 Georgia.

The Flashes finished the first day in eighth after shooting 11-over-par. Meixner led the women with a 2-under-par round. Meixner ended the day tied for second with Caroline Westrup of Florida State, two strokes behind the lead.

On day two, a pair of 1-under-par rounds by Meixner and junior Kirby Dreher helped the team to post a 1-under-par round.

“Only one team broke par during the rounds,” Morrow said. “We were fortunate to be that team.”

Freshman Martina Gavier shot par and senior Tara Delaney hit 1-over to finish out the Flashes’ second round. Five women compete in each round and the best four scores are totaled for a team score.

“We had four players who played extremely well, and that’s hard to do on a difficult golf course,” Morrow said.

Day three brought winds and higher scores for Kent State, which hit 13-over-par.

“We grinded it out,” Morrow said. “They played as hard as they could and that was the best we could do. We’ll take the results.”

Gavier carded the team’s only under par round the last day. Her strong outings the last two days jumped her from 80th to 15th.

“She really found her game and excelled the last two rounds,” Morrow said.

Gavier said she just tried to forget about the first day, when she shot 8-over-par.

“I talked to (Morrow) and he told me to just focus on the second round and totally forget about what I had done the day before,” she said. “I was playing well, it just happened that I had a couple of bad holes.”

Meixner saw herself drop from second to ninth with a 6-over-par round.

“I was hitting it well off the tee, but my shots into the greens – I don’t really know what it was – but I just couldn’t do what I was envisioning in my head,” she said. “I didn’t have the right feel for some of my iron shots. On top of that my putting wasn’t very good.”

Despite the problems, Meixner said she looked at the positives.

“I keep giving myself chances to win tournaments,” she said. “I’ve been hanging around the top three for the past couple weeks, I just need to figure out how to put the last round together.”

Overall, Morrow said he is proud of the third place finish.

“We wanted to win, we were in position to win, but we just didn’t quite make it,” Morrow said.

The women next tee off at the Texas A&M “Mo” Morial Invitational March 7-8.

Contact sports correspondent

Josh Johnston

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