Flashes can’t close on a win, still look strong

The Kent State women’s golf team lost for the first time Sunday, but coach Lisa Strom said her first fall season at Kent proved what her team can do.

“It’s a little bit bittersweet to finish the season with one loss,” Strom said. “But it was a dream start, to go 56-1 and to shoot 67-under-par overall through 12 rounds of team golf is pretty great.”

The team’s first loss of the season came in the Betsy Rawls Invitational in Austin, Texas at the hands of the fourth ranked Texas. The Flashes finished second in the tournament of 15.

Kent was in first place going into Sunday when the Longhorns stormed back with a 15-under-par final round to win by just two strokes.

“We just ran into a buzz saw,” Strom said. “Hats off to UT for the round of golf they put together, setting a school record for single round shooting. But we did have things that should’ve been under our control that we didn’t control.”

The Flashes missed one of their star players in senior Karoline Stormo, who is currently competing in LPGA qualifiers called “Q-school.” But Strom said the team is deep enough to handle that hit.

“We didn’t miss a beat and we didn’t really talk about missing Karoline,” Strom said. “It was never discussed or ever ‘hey we have to step up this week,’ because people knew their job and did it well.”

Stormo had been a consistent high finisher for the Flashes, but in her absence senior Pimnipa Panthong and freshman Caley McGinty led the team.

Panthong finished tied for second with a score of 10-under-par 206, and moved up to 11th place in Golfweek’s individual player rankings.

“Pim just gets the job done every day it’s amazing,” Strom said. “She has got a bright future ahead of her beyond Kent State women’s golf, and I am thrilled we have got her for this season.”

Freshman Caley McGinty continued her debut season of high finishes, tying for sixth at five-under-par 211. McGinty signed to play at Kent State under former coach Greg Robertson, but Strom commends her for committing quickly to the new staff.

Sophomore Thitapa Pakdeesettakul, called “Aum” by her teammates and coaches, competed in her first tournament of the fall as a member of the team roster, filling in for Stromo.

Pakdeesettakul, from Thailand, tied for 11th with an even 216 and Strom said she was impressed.

“She did a great job and bounced back after a poor ball striking round, turned it around the same day and showed a lot of grit,” Strom said.

Closing out the individual scores for the Flashes were juniors Chloe Salort and Kory Nielsen.

Nielsen, who went to Kent Roosevelt, tied for 16th with a score of one-over-par 217 and Salort, of France, tied for 30th at five-over-par 221.

Contact Owen MacMillan at [email protected]