Women’s Golf Preview – Challenging Stretch Continues at Central District Invite
For the second consecutive week, the Golden Flashes will face a tournament field that features 15 teams in top 100 nationally
KENT, Ohio – Continuing the team's torrid pace to start the spring season, the Kent State women's golf team is back in action at the Central District Invitational Feb. 20-21, hosted by Michigan State University at River Wilderness Country Club in Parrish, Fla.
The tournament's two-day format will feature 36 holes on Monday followed by 18 holes on Tuesday. Shotgun starts are slated for 8 a.m. on both days.
River Wilderness Country Club will play as a par 72, 6,099-yard course for the elite field.
This is the fifth consecutive year Kent State will participate in Michigan State's Central District Invitational. Kent State's best finish came during the spring of 2008, when the Golden Flashes placed third in a 15-team field.
Scouting the Golden Flashes
In the spring opener for Kent State, the Golden Flashes tied for 10th place at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 12-14.
Senior Mercedes Germino (Necochea, Argentina) shot a one-over 73 on Tuesday to pace the team's effort. Germino finished the three-day tournament in 20th place with a nine-over 225. She was tied for second in the tournament field with 12 birdies.
Senior Mandi Morrow (Kent, Ohio) tied for 21st overall after shooting a five-over 77 on Tuesday. Morrow finished the tournament with just one double-bogey while scoring three birdies and an eagle for a 10-over 226.
Freshman Jennifer Ha (Calgary, Alberta) cut strokes off her score in each successive round, posting a three-over 75 Tuesday to move up to a tie for 48th with a 235. Ha had a trio of birdies on the back nine on Tuesday, including two through her first four holes.
Five golfers will be in action for Kent State at the Central District Invitational; along with Germino, Morrow and Ha, the starting five will include senior Shamira Marshall (Macedonia, Ohio) and sophomore Erin Hawe (Walton, New Zealand).
Scouting the Tournament Field
Joining the Golden Flashes and the host Michigan State Spartans are Coastal Carolina, Indiana, Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, UCF, Vanderbilt. It will be the second consecutive tournament where Kent State will face Iowa State, LSU, Michigan, Northwestern and TCU.
Kent State is one of 12 teams ranked in the top 50 by Golf Week's Sagarin rankings, and all 15 are in the top 100 teams statistically. In the Nov. 23 release of Golf World's coaches poll, four participating teams were in the top 25 (including three of the nation's top seven teams in No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 6 North Carolina and No. 7 LSU) while three more, including Kent State, received votes.
Iowa State won last year's tournament title, while LSU's Austin Ernst captured medalist honors in 2011.
Kent State will take a respite from intercollegiate competition for three weeks, returning to action March 16-18 with the Lady Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.