Women’s golf team places third in Vegas

Thomas Gallick

The Kent State women’s golf team placed third Wednesday at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and ended the fall season with no finishes worse than fifth place on the year.

Coach Mike Morrow said the team owed the top-three finish to solid play from all five golfers in the tournament.

“Really we were very consistent one through five,” Morrow said. “To come in third place was a great accomplishment.”

Junior Kirby Dreher led the Flashes individually for the second tournament in a row with a score of 1-over-par over three rounds of play. She finished ninth.

Katie Kempter of Denver won the tournament with a score of 8-under-par, three strokes in front of the second-place finisher, Chelsea Benton, also of Denver.

Denver also won the team competition with a combined score of 6-under-par, beating second place Arizona by 11 strokes. Kent State finished at 10-over-par to end up in third place.

Senior Tara Delaney and freshman Martina Gavier followed closely in a tie for 11th place at 3-over-par for the tournament. Senior Kira Meixner finished one stroke above Delaney and Gavier in a tie for 17th place.

Delaney said the team owed its consistency to successful practice and training throughout the fall season, something it needs to keep up over the winter break.

“I think we’ve all worked hard all year and it’s kind of paid off for all of us,” Delaney said. “We want to try to keep going the way we are and try to win some tournaments in the spring.”

Morrow said he thinks this women’s golf team could be the most talented in the program’s 10-season existence.

“We’ve had the best fall in school history as far as playing in hard tournaments and playing as well as we have,” Morrow said.

Delaney said she was not sure this season’s squad is the best she has played on in her four years, but said the team certainly has gelled.

“I think we’ve had a lot of talent over the years, but it’s just come together for us this year,” Delaney said.

The team earned its highest national ranking, 13th, this season after finishing in the top five in its first three tournaments of the fall season.

The Flashes beat Tennessee, ranked 10th at the start of the tournament, and four other teams ranked in the top 25. The two teams the Flashes finished behind, Arizona and Denver, were ranked ninth and 16th nationally at the start of the tournament, respectively.

The Flashes played very consistent golf as a team with a first round of 291 strokes, a second round of 290 strokes and a third round of 293 strokes. Delaney and Dreher tied for low individual round on the team when both shot 1-under-par in the second.

The women’s golf team will resume play at the start of its spring season in February.

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Thomas Gallick at [email protected].