Women’s golf takes quality play to Tennessee

Thomas Gallick

The women’s golf team has never finished lower than a tie for second place this season, a streak they look to keep alive as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to play the first of three rounds in the Mercedes-Benz Women’s Collegiate today.

The Flashes are led by individual tournament medalist Kira Meixner, who won the Lady Northern tournament on Sept. 23.

They tied for second place in their previous tournament, the season-opening Mary Fossum Invitational on Sept. 9, spurred by Meixner’s second place finish.

Coach Mike Morrow said he has been impressed with Meixner’s play this season, and also the skill of Kent State’s first South American golfer, freshman Martina Gavier.

“Martina’s been doing extremely well in her first year playing college golf,” Morrow said. “She’s had two top-ten finishes in two events this season and it speaks volumes about her as a player.”

Morrow said every player on the women’s team could golf well enough this week to lead the Flashes individually. He said the team has been simulating speedy greens in practice to prepare for this event.

“We’ve basically been sticking with our regular practice schedule, but we’ve been working more on speed,” Morrow said. “The greens at this tournament are going to be lightning-fast, so we needed to practice for that.”

Aside from the faster greens, assistant coach Jan Dowling said the tournament will feature one key difference from the previous two. The golfers will play 54 holes over three days, or 18 per day, instead of the usual set-up of 36 holes on the first day and 18 on the second.

“Thirty-six holes in a day can be pretty grueling, but the girls are pretty well prepared for either style of tournament,” Dowling said. “Eighteen-hole days are a little more civilized.”

Morrow said the main challenge of any team that is successful early in the year is keeping the players from growing complacent, something he does not see happening with this group.

“This is where our schedule gets really tough and we start playing some of the best teams in the nation,” Morrow said. “We’re not complacent at all with what we’ve done this season because we know we have to go out and compete with top ten teams from now on.”

Morrow said that this tournament represents the toughest competition the team has faced so far. The women’s team will finish its final round of the tournament Sunday afternoon.

Contact golf reporter Thomas Gallick at [email protected].