Women’s Golf Preview – After Hiatus, Flashes Set to Compete at SunTrust Gator Invitational
Schedule doesn’t let up for Flashes, who are one of 12 of top 50 teams in 17-team field
KENT, Ohio – After a three-week respite, the Kent State women’s golf team will participate in the 17-team SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational March 16-18, hosted by the University of Florida at Mark Bostic Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.
The tournament will feature three days, with participants playing 18 holes each day. Friday and Saturday’s rounds will feature tee-time starts, while Sunday’s final round will be a shotgun start.
Mark Bostic Golf Course will play as a par 70, 6,002-yard course for the elite field.
This is the second year Kent State will participate in the Gator Invite; their first appearance was last spring. Kent State finished 10th in the 17-golfer field.
Scouting the Golden Flashes
At Kent State second tournament of the spring season Feb. 20-21, the Golden Flashes finished 11th at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla.
Senior Mercedes Germino (Necochea, Argentina) made a move in the tournament’s final round for individual medalist honors, closing within two strokes before finishing with a one-over 73. Germino concluded the tournament with a one-over 217, which tied for fourth in the 75-golfer field. She was later named the Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Week.
Senior Mandi Morrow (Kent, Ohio) also carded a one-over 73 in the final round, moving her up to a tie for 31stplace. Morrow cut her score each round and finished with a 12-over 228.
Six golfers will be in action for Kent State at the the SunTrust Gator Invitational; along with Germino and Morrow, the starting five will include junior Jackie Yanch (Barrie, Ontario), sophomore Erin Hawe (Walton, New Zealand), and freshman Jennifer Ha (Calgary, Alberta). Senior Shamira Marshall (Macedonia, Ohio) will play as an unattached individual.
Scouting the Tournament Field
Joining the Golden Flashes and the host Florida Gators are Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, UT Chattanooga, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia State, Kent State, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Florida, UCF and Wisconsin.
Kent State is one of 12 teams ranked in the top 50 by Golf Week’s Sagarin rankings, and all 17 teams participating on the weekend are in the top 100 teams statistically. In the March 14 release of Golf World’s coaches poll, six participating teams were ranked in the top 25 (including No. 2 Alabama, No. 6 Auburn and No. 8 Duke) while one more received votes.
The host Gators, coached by Kent State women’s golf alum Jan Dowling, won last year’s tournament with an 18-stroke advantage over second-place Florida State.
Kent State will be back in action when the Golden Flashes travel to the University of Georgia to participate in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic March30-April 1 in Athens, Ga.