KSU golf team drops early lead

Jeff Russ

The Kent State men’s golf team finished sixth in the Morris Williams Invitational in Austin, Texas, after leading the first day of the event last week.

Coach Herb Page wasn’t happy with losing the lead, but he said he is happy his team finished high.

“If you would have said before the tournament we would finish sixth, I would be very happy,” he said. “We had the lead in the final group and played very poorly down the stretch; it doesn’t sit well.”

The team shot 285 on the first day, but on day two the Flashes shot 14 strokes higher, 299, and fell to sixth place. UNLV shot an eight-under par to win the tournament.

Individually, freshman David Ludlow led after day one, shooting a six-under par 66 in the first round. Ludlow shot a three-over par 75 on the second day and finished at three over, tied for sixth. Ludlow had the second most birdies in the tournament.

Page described Ludlow as a one-man wrecking crew and said he was happy with his play in only his fourth college tournament.

Tom Ballinger shot even par for the tournament, shooting an even 72 both days and finished in a tie for 15th.

“Tom has been our most consistent player this spring,” Page said. “He has had a solid spring, and I look for him to get better and better.”

Page said the team made physical mistakes and struggled in the short game, but he said those problems will be fixed.

“There is nothing wrong with physical mistakes,” he said. “We had a couple of mismanaged shots, but we can live with the physical mistakes and grind it out in the short game.”

Even though his team didn’t hold on to its lead, Page isn’t going to let the team beat itself up.

“The guys handled themselves well,” he said. “I told the guys ‘don’t hang your head, we will get in that position again, and we have to take advantage of it.'”

The team will play in another loaded field this week in Tucson, Ariz.

“This field is unbelievable. We have played a very, very hard schedule. Sometimes I second-guess myself,” Paige said of the schedule. “But we only get one bid out of the Mid-American Conference.”

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].