Men’s golf team ends its season in the top 5

Thomas Gallick

The men’s golf team finished fifth yesterday at the Bridgestone UNC-Greensboro Intercollegiate, to close the fall season with the team’s third consecutive top-five finish.

The team also had a different individual leader for the third-consecutive tournament, as freshman Brett Cairns shot a score of 5-under-par to take second place in the field of 79. Derek Fathauer, of Louisville, won the tournament with a score of 10-under-par.

Freshman John Hahn, who led the Flashes individually at the Bank of Tennessee at the Ridges Tournament on Oct. 14, said the members of the team need to find out how to play well at the same time.

“Brett really stepped up this week, but a team, while it has different parts, cannot succeed without everyone stepping up,” Hahn said.

The Flashes finished the tournament with a team score of 9-over-par, three strokes behind fourth place North Carolina. Louisville won the tournament with a combined score of 4-under-par.

Kent State coach Herb Page said the golfers definitely need to improve on their consistency before the start of the spring season. He said the young team has a lot to focus on in its training over the winter break and will no longer be able to use lack of experience as an excuse for playing under its potential.

“We’re going to work on finishing in the last round and strength and conditioning,” Page said. “We’re no longer going to call the team inexperienced.”

Page said he was impressed with the way individuals on the team contributed during the fall season, but stressed the need for solid team efforts.

“We’ve improved every week and we’ve had a lot of different players step up,” Page said.”When they all go out and have good tournaments at the same time, we’re going to be ready to challenge some teams.”

The Flashes lacked consistency at this event, with only two golfers finishing in the top 30. Senior David Markle shot the team’s only other under-par round, adding a 1-under-par finish to tie for ninth.

Sophomore David Ludlow shot the next best score for the Flashes, finishing in a tie for 35th with a 6-over-par. Hahn and fellow freshman Jean-Philippe Paiement finished out of the top 50 in a tie for 57th place and 70th place, respectively.

The team, ranked 39th in the nation at the start of the tournament, finished ahead of Arkansas, Indiana and Wake Forest, three teams ranked higher in the polls.

Hahn said the team definitely has room to improve over the winter break before play resumes in February. He said he envisions the team as a serious contender for a spot at the NCAA Championships this spring.

“My expectations of this season were that the team would be ranked in the top 25 by the end of the fall,” Hahn said. “We fell a little short of that goal, but there’s no reason this team can’t make a big impact at NCAA tournament later this season.”

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Thomas Gallick at [email protected]