Women’s Golf Preview: Flashes Wrap Up Regular Season at Lady Buckeye
Kent State set to compete against eight Big Ten teams as all 11 teams are top 100 squads
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State women’s golf team concludes the 2012 regular season this weekend when the Golden Flashes take part in the 11-team Lady Buckeye Invitational, hosted by Ohio State at the Scarlet Course of The Ohio State University Golf Club.
The weekend tournament will feature 36 rounds on Saturday with 18 holes to follow on Sunday. The scoring setup will also feature a “play six, count four” format, giving teams an additional score to count towards the team’s total. Both days will feature an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.
For the weekend, the Scarlet Course will play as a par-72, 6,268-yard course for the field. Live stats will be available through golfstat.com.
This is the 13th year, and eighth consecutively, Kent State will participate in the Lady Buckeye Invitational, which is in its 32nd season. Twice the Golden Flashes have captured the team title at the event, most recently in 2008, when the squad won by 28 strokes. Kent State also won in 2002.
Scouting the Golden Flashes
Kent State is coming off a three-week break after the team’s 14th place finish at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia. Senior Mercedes Germino (Necochea, Argentina) was the team’s top finisher, as she posted a six-over 222 to tie for 28th overall.
Heading into the final week of regular season action, Germino leads the Mid-American Conference with a 74.08 stroke average, a stroke and a half better than the nearest golfer. Kent State has three of the MAC’s top four golfers in stroke average this season, as freshman Jennifer Ha (Calgary, Alberta) and senior Mandi Morrow (Kent, Ohio) are third and fourth, respectively, with averages below 76.0 through eight events this season.
Kent State’s six-golfer squad for the Lady Buckeye will feature Germino, Ha and Morrow along with senior Shamira Marshall (Macedonia, Ohio), junior Jackie Yanch (Barrie, Ontario) and sophomore Erin Hawe (Walton, New Zealand). Freshman Natalie Goodson (Hudson, Ohio) will participate as an unattached individual.
Scouting the Tournament Field
Kent State is one of 11 teams participating in the Lady Buckeye Invitational. Including the host Ohio State, the field features eight Big Ten teams (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State) as well as Baylor and Iowa State from the Big 12.
All 11 squads are ranked in the top 90 by Golf Week’s Sagarin rankings, with Kent State rounding out six teams ranked in the top 50. In the most recent release of Golf World’s coaches poll, Baylor and Ohio State were ranked No. 17 and No. 20, with Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern receiving votes.
Michigan State is the defending champion after edging Kent State by 17 strokes last spring. Ohio State has captured 13 team titles in their tournament, while Michigan State won their fourth team trophy in 2011. Kent State’s two wins are the only other team titles from teams that make up this weekend’s field.
Kent State will have a quick turnaround, as the team will head to Fishers, Ind. for the 2012 MAC Women’s Golf Championship at Hawthornes Golf and Country Club April 27-29. The Golden Flashes will aim to defend their 13 consecutive conference titles with next weekend’s tournament.