Men’s golf finishes in top 10 at second tournament of season

Kathryn Rajnicek Reporter

Kent State’s men’s golf team finished eighth at the Windon Memorial tournament on Sept. 27-28.

The tournament was hosted by Northwestern University and played at the Lake Shore Country Club in Glencoe, Illinois.

After round one, the team stood tied for tenth place carding an even par, 284, junior Chris Vandette was tied for second place 4-under-par, 67 and freshman Jordan Gilkison was tied for 16th place 2-under-par, 69.

“The first day we got off to a bit of a slow start and then we jumped back into it,” coach Jon Mills said. “At one point on the back nine, we were either one or two shots back from the lead and then kind of fell off towards the end of the round.”

Round two was played until about 8:30 p.m. Monday, and the rest of round two play and round three play concluded Tuesday.

The Flashes round two scores were 3-under-par, 281 which put the team in seventh place heading into round three. Vandette shot 3-under-par, 72 in round two and Gilkison shot a 2-under-par, 71 leaving the two tied for eight place and tied for 11th place respectively.

“On the first day in the afternoon when we finished our round, the wind picked up, and we ended up having to play the last three holes on the front nine into the wind,” Mills said. “It made it tougher compared to the morning rounds. I think it would have been a different story if we were playing those final three holes in the wind conditions from the morning. We would have had easier birdie opportunities and instead you’re trying to grind it out to make a par.”

Final team totals had Kent State with an eight place finish shooting an even par, 852. No. 14 Kansas University won the tournament carding a 12-under-par, 834.

“In the third round, we got right back up there and fell off again,” Mills said. “I love the fact that we’re putting ourselves in that position and it’s only a matter of time before one of those goes the other way.”

Individually, Vandette led the way for Kent tying for 10th shooting 3-under-par, 210.

“He’s been playing very solid and this goes back to last spring when he was playing very well,” Mills said. “Into the summer, he started playing really well back home and it continued into the start of the season at the individual event in Minnesota. It’s really nice to see him get into this position because he’s a very talented player and it’s starting to show in competition.”

Gilkison tied for 16th shooting a two-under-par, 211 in his first start in the top five rotation. 

“I thought [Gilkison’s] performance was great,” Mills said. “It was his first tournament in the actual top five, and I thought he handled himself awesome. It was exciting to watch how he played and competed. I’m excited to see what’s in store for him going forward.”

Rounding out the Flashes’ individual totals, junior Cade Breitenstine finished tied for 21st carding a 1-under-par, 212, graduate student Josh Gilkison finished tied for 55th place carding a 6-over-par, 219 and freshman Bryce Reed finished in 82nd place carding a 16-over-par, 229.

Kent was one of only three teams to finish with three golfers under-par.

“I think that shows how deep we are,” Mills said. “There will still be a few weeks to figure out who’s all going to be in the lineup, but I’m comfortable putting anyone in, and I feel like anyone in our lineup can go out and shoot well. It’s a great spot to be in.”

The competition’s individual winner was sophomore Davis Cooper of the University of Kansas who shot a 9-under-par, 204.

The Flashes’ next tournament is the Fighting Irish Classic hosted by the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 in South Bend, Indiana.

Kathryn Rajnicek is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].