Week in, week out: Women’s golf places top 5 in first two tournaments of season

Brady Hamilton, Reporter

The Kent State women’s golf team carried last week’s momentum into its latest tournament, beating out Power 5 schools to finish fourth in its second competition of the season.

“When you’re playing well, you want to get out and play again,” coach Casey VanDamme said. “We had a lot of really good things rolling.”

In the season opener Sept. 12 and 13, the Flashes landed in third place.

Kent State finished fourth out of 14 teams in the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship Monday and Tuesday. The Flashes outperformed nationally-ranked Michigan, which tied for sixth, along with Purdue and BYU.

As a team, the Flashes finished with a 3-below 849. Wake Forest, which ranks fifth in the nation, won the tournament with a 21-under 831. UCF finished second, and Virginia third.

Senior Noramol Nuchsila was the Flashes’ top-scoring golfer. She carded a 7-under 206. This was the best score from her team so far this season. In last week’s tournament, she finished with a 6-above 222.

“She played incredibly well,” VanDamme said. “She did a great job specifically on par fives. Her game was really on and had a ton of birdies out there. It was fun to watch.”

Nuchsila finished second among all golfers in par 5, scoring 10-below par in that category.

Other than Nuchsila, the Flashes top-five scorers were also senior Mayka Hoogeboom, sophomore Jennifer Gu, freshman Blanca Yague-Cuadros and freshman Leon Takagi.

Hoogeboom tied for 21st place with a 1-over 214. Last week, she won her first collegiate tournament for Kent State with an 8-under 208.

VanDamme was glad Hoogeboom did not rest on her past success. He said she practiced the same way she always does for tournaments, and it worked.

“You shouldn’t do anything different because you had success or failure in the previous [tournament],” said VanDamme, “just prepare the same way we always prepare. That’s exactly what she did.”

Gu tied for 26th overall with a 1-below 216. Yague-Cuadros tied for 29th finishing 4-over par and carding a 217. Takagi tied for 44th overall with an 8-over 221.

The women’s golf team plays next at the Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational in Lawrence, Kansas Oct. 17th and 18th.

“We’ve obviously started with two good ones,” VanDamme said. “Now we have a little break, to catch up on some school and to get some practice in and clean up some things to hopefully get to the next next level.”

Brady Hamilton is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].