No. 32 Men's Golf Off To Minnesota To Start The Season
Ranked No. 32 in the country by Golfweek, the Kent State men's golf team begins play this weekend at the Gopher Invitational in Minnesota. This season marks the 72nd year of the historic program.
The 54-hole, 14-team event begins on Sunday with an 8:00 a.m. (central) shotgun start. The first and second rounds will be played consecutively followed by a final round on Monday with tee times starting at 8:30 a.m. (central).
Live scoring is available on www.golfstat.com
Golden Flashes Line-Up
Representing the Golden Flashes this week are senior Mackenzie Hughes, juniors Kevin Miller and Nathan Tarter, sophomore Taylor Pendrith and freshman Taylor Zoller.
• Taylor Pendrith won the 72-hole qualifier for this weekend with a 275. He was followed by Mackenzie Hughes (277), Nathan Tarter (281) Kevin Miller (283) and Taylor Zoller (283).
• Taylor Zoller will be making his college debut
• Nathan Tarter is earning a start in the first event this season after playing in just one tournament all of last year
• Kent State was ranked 32nd nationally by Golfweek in the preseason (Golfweek Preview). In the Golf World/Nike Golf Division I College Preseason Top 25 Coaches' Poll the Golden Flashes are listed among the 'Others Receiving Votes'. Receiving the eighth highest total on the list, Kent State is ranked 33rd in the poll
• The Golden Flashes tied for 19th at the 2011 NCAA Championship and are one of only 10 teams in the country that have finished Top 20 at the NCAA Championship each of the past two seasons (Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Augusta State, Arizona State, San Diego, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA and Illinois).
Spring Hill is a private golf course located in Wayzata, a western suburb of Minneapolis. It is a Par 72, Tom Fazio design measuring 7,020 yards. Recently, Golf Digest ranked the venue the Fourth Best Golf Course in the state of Minnesota. Spring Hill has served as the host course of the event since its inception in 2005.
The field is the largest in the tournament's seven years, featuring 14 teams from 10 different collegiate conferences. Along with Kent State there are six other schools ranked in the top 60 of the Golfweek preseason rankings. The complete field consists of Arkansas, Charlotte, Houston, Iowa, Kent State, Lamar, Liberty, Minnesota, North Texas, Notre Dame, Penn State Santa Clara, SMU and Wisconsin.
Kent State At the Gopher Invitational
This is the second consecutive year the Golden Flashes are leading off the season at the Gopher Invitational. Last year in its first ever visit to the tournament, Kent placed second with an 880 (291-293-296) while John Hahn captured the individual medalist honors. Of the current line-up both Mackenzie Hughes (228), t-28th and Kevin Miller (232), t-33rd have previously competed for the Golden Flashes last year at the event.
Sunday: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.
Monday: Mainly sunny. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 50s.
Kent State takes a week off before returning to the course on Sept. 26-27 at the Inverness Intercollegiate in Toledo, Ohio.
Pendrith's 62 Sets Windmill Lakes Course Record
This past weekend during a four-day qualifier, sophomore Taylor Pendrith put his name in the Windmill Lakes Golf Course record books. Pendrith shot a non-competitive course record of 62 (-8) on the 6,936-yard, par-70 layout. The Richmond Hill, Ontario product made the turn at one-under before carding a 28 (-7) on the back nine with birdies coming on Nos. 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
Pendrith, who also won the team qualifier with a 72-hole total of 275, bested the previous non-competitive course record of 63 that was shared by a host of former Kent State All-Americans. The list included Karl Zoller, Donnie Darr, Ben Curtis, Jon Mills and John Hahn who accomplished the feat twice.
The competitive course record at Windmill is held by Kent State alumnus Todd Lancaster who shot a seven-under-par 63 in the final round of the 1996 Portage County Amateur.
Former Golden Flash Peter Laws shot an unofficial nine-under-par 61 in September 2002. This record is unofficial as the seventh tee was closed for fall renovation, shortening that hole to 261 yards.
Hughes Tagged As One Of Golf World's 50 Players To Watch In 2011-12
The 2011-12 season does not start until this weekend for the No. 32 ranked Kent State men's golf team, but senior Mackenzie Hughes is already earning some national attention.
The lone senior for the Golden Flashes this season is coming off a well accomplished summer on the amateur circuit in which he won two events highlighted by the 2011 Canadian Men's Amateur. Hughes also captured the Kinnear Glencoe Invitational Title in June and earn a spot in the 2011 Canadian Professional Tour's ATB Financial Classic. The summer finally came to a close in late August at the U.S. Amateur where the Team Canada team member was one of 64 players to qualify for the match-play scoring tree.
Hughes was second on the team with a 74.0 scoring average last season winning two individual titles.
The 2011-12 team has five new faces to the roster. Freshman Charlie Phillips of Mount Vernon, Ohio, freshman Nick Scott of Union, Ohio, freshman Taylor Zoller of Charleston, S.C., sophomore Kyle Kmiecik from Avon Ohio via Ole Miss and sophomore Jack Watson from Lincolnshire, Ill. via Kansas State.
Of the group Zoller will be making his Kent State debut this weekend. Zoller, the son of former Golden Flash All-American Karl, was the No. 3 ranked junior golfer in South Carolina and the 119th best recruit by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Last season he won the 2010 SC Big I Junior qualifier and had 13 other top 20 finishes in 16 events on the junior circuit.
For the most instant daily tweets and immediate sports updates be sure to follow the team on Twitter @KentStGolf