Kent Ready for NCAA Golf Championship

Updated 5/28/2000

  • Day One Championship Results

    KENT, Ohio - The Kent State University men's golf team will compete in the 2000 NCAA Division I Championships Wednesday through Saturday, May 31-June 3, in Opelika, Ala.

    The tournament will be hosted by Auburn University at the par-72, 6,961-yard Lakes Course at Grand National Golf Complex, which is part of the prestigious Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

    The Golden Flashes, who are ranked 19th in the most recent GCAA/MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings, earned a berth in the national championships with a second-place finish to No. 23 University of Texas at the NCAA Central Regional May 18-20 at Victoria, Texas.

    Joining Kent State and Texas from the Central Regional are No. 3 Oklahoma State University, No. 10 University of Houston, No. 45 University of Minnesota, No. 7 Northwestern University, No. 36 Texas Christian University, No. 25 University of Kansas and No. 31 University of Oklahoma.

    Qualifiers from the East Regional are No. 2 Clemson University, No. 15 University of North Florida, No. 1 Georgia Institute of Technology, No. 46 East Tennessee State University, No. 4 University of Georgia, No. 30 Georgia State University, No. 47 University of Mississippi, No. 18 Auburn, No. 40 University of North Carolina, No. 24 University of Virginia and No. 37 Wake Forest University.

    West Regional qualifiers are No. 8 University of Arizona, No. 11 University of Nevada-Las Vegas, No. 9 Brigham Young University, No. 33 University of Southern California, No. 13 University of New Mexico, No. 6 Fresno State University, No. 5 Arizona State University, No. 21 University of Washington, No. 43 Pepperdine University and No. 35 University of California.

    Eighteen holes will be played each of the first two days of the tournament. The field then will be cut to 15 teams and nine individuals, who will continue with the remaining 36 holes of the 72-hole event.

    Kent State's five-player lineup will feature senior Ben Curtis (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley), junior Jon Mills (Brooklin, Ontario/Centennial), junior Danny Sahl (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Bev Facey), freshman Jonah Karzmer (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman) and junior Brian Miller (Novelty, Ohio/West Geauga).

    BACK AGAIN: Kent State is competing in the NCAA Championships for the 11th time in school history and the seventh time in the last 11 years. The Golden Flashes' highest national finish was 13th in 1994. In their most recent appearance, they placed 24th in 1998. In terms of NCAA regional action, Kent State has qualified for regional competition 11 times in the past 12 years. Last season the Golden Flashes lost a one-hole playoff to the University of Colorado at the regional for the 10th and final berth in the national championships.

    IN THE POLLS: The Golden Flashes are ranked 19th in both the most recent GCAA/MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings and the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Kent State entered postseason action ranked second in District IV behind Northwestern in the GCAA/MasterCard Poll.

    Senior and two-time All-American Ben Curtis (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) is rated 13th in the most recent MasterCard individual poll and 18th in the Sagarin ratings. Juniors Jon Mills (Brooklin, Ontario/Centennial) and Danny Sahl (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Bev Facey) are ranked 33rd and 74th, respectively, in the MasterCard rankings.

    Kent State is one of only 14 schools in the nation to have three golfers rated among the top 100 in the MasterCard Individual Rankings; five programs have five ranked golfers and two others have four.

    FLASHES FINISH SECOND AT CENTRAL REGIONAL: Junior Jon Mills (Brooklin, Ontario/Centennial) shot a 65 in the final round to capture individual medalist honors and lead the Kent State University men's golf team to a second-place finish at the NCAA Central Regional May 18-20 at the 6,846-yard, par-71 Victoria Country Club in Victoria, Texas.

    The Golden Flashes improved in each round of the tournament, jumping from a tie for sixth the first day to fifth the second before leaping to second in the third round. Kent was three strokes under par (291-285-273=849) in the 54-hole event and finished just two strokes behind tournament-champion and 23rd-ranked University of Texas (291-284-272=847).

    Mills, who plays in the shadow of teammate and two-time All-American Ben Curtis (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley), proved he belongs among the nation's elite. After shooting an even-par 71 in the first round, Mills fired a 66 in the second round and then improved his score again in the third to go 11-under for the tournament and win the individual title by five strokes over Cody Freeman of Oklahoma.

    The five-way tie for third place included Texas' David Gossett, the 1999 U.S. Amateur champion, and Northwestern's Luke Donald, the top-ranked collegiate player in the nation. Junior Danny Sahl (Sherwood Park, Alberta/Bev Facey) tied for 10th at two-under (70-72-69=211), while Curtis tied for 21st at one-over par (75-72-67=214). Junior Brian Miller (Novelty, Ohio/West Geauga), who was making his first appearance of the season, tied for 89th (75-77-72=224). Freshman Jonah Karzmer (Boardman, Ohio/Boardman) tied for 106th (78-75-73=226).