Flashes fight to fourth place finish

Thomas Gallick

The Kent State men’s golf team played three steady rounds of golf at the Bank of Tennessee intercollegiate at the Ridges, never shooting a team above-par round before its fourth place finish Sunday.

Coach Herb Page said the golfers are coming around after slow starts hampered their performances at the first two 54-hole tournaments this season.

“We had another really good tournament, this time against a field that was the strongest we’ve faced this far,” Page said. “There are a lot of good things happening with this team right now.”

The men’s team, coming off of a second place finish in lasts week’s Windon Memorial Classic, shot 8-under par for the tournament, four strokes behind tournament winners North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Page said the team played well against the tough field, even finishing ahead of perennial golf powerhouses Auburn and South Carolina.

Freshman John Hahn continued his stellar rookie campaign for the Flashes, finishing in a tie for second with Chris Gold of Maryland at 8-under-par. Hahn also shot the best round of the tournament for Kent State with a 5-under-par in the second.

Chris Paisley, of Tennessee, won the tournament with a score or 10-under-par after three rounds, including a tournament best 8-under-par round on the second day of play.

Page said he is in no way surprised by the success of Hahn, even though the freshman does not have the experience of the older collegiate golfers.

“He’s just a really good golfer,” Page said. “I’m not surprised by what he has accomplished this season, because I knew he was a really great player when we recruited him.”

Freshman Brett Cairns and sophomore David Ludlow also played well for the Flashes this weekend, finishing in a tie for 13th and a tie for 29th, respectively. Hahn said playing with so many other talented underclassmen golfers helps his game tremendously.

“We’re having a lot of success right now even though we’re a young team and lack some experience,” Hahn said. “I think it’s better for a freshman golfer to play with some young guys who can relate to each other instead of having a team with ten seniors and one freshman.”

Hahn also said the young golfers learned from the less successful tournaments when they got off to a few shaky starts.

“I think the team is definitely gaining experience,” Hahn said. “Before playing on a college team, you tend to be more aggressive because you’re playing an individual game, while sometimes earlier this year we got too concerned with how the rest of the team was playing and let it affect our individual performances.”

Freshmen Brett Cairns, John Hahn and Jean-Philippe Paiement have been in the starting lineup almost every week since the beginning of the season.

The men’s golf team will play next at the Bridgestone UNC-Greensboro Intercollegiate on Oct. 29. This event will conclude the fall golf season for the men’s team.

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Thomas Gallick at t[email protected]