Story courtesy of Kent State University athletic media relations
GALLOWAY, N.J ? An early summer looked to be instore for the Golden Flashes with four holes left to play, but an eagle by John Hahn helped him set a course record and highlighted a late surge that leaves the team just six strokes back of advancing to the NCAA Championships for a second consecutive year. Posting a team score of 289 on Friday, Kent State moved up into seventh place with a 601 (312-289) total, while Hahn tops the leader board with an even par 142.
With the top five spots moving on to the NCAA Championships in two weeks, Kent State was as many as 14 strokes out of fifth place when the team caught fire and played the final four holes in nine-under par. The rally allowed KSU to make up eight strokes on No. 15 Illinois which stands in the coveted fifth spot with a 595 total. Wake Forest is just ahead in fourth at 594 and trails No 20 Tennessee (583) in first, No. 10 Alabama (588) in second and Virginia (589) in third. Colorado State (599) sits in sixth place, two shots in front of the Golden Flashes.
After starting the day on hole 10, Hahn capped off the remarkable final run by KSU with a tap in eagle on the 539-yard, par 5 ninth. A sophomore from Hudson, Ohio, he also birdied No. 6 and No. 7 down the stretch to finish with a four-under 67 that set a course record. With just 18 holes left, Hahn leads the field by one stroke with an even par 142 (75-67). Right behind him are Darren Renwick of Tennessee 143 (71-72) and Dan Woltman from Wisconsin 143 (74-69). Alabama’s Bud Cauley, the nation’s sixth ranked player, also had a 67 today to match Hahn.
“It was almost the exact opposite as yesterday,” said Head Coach Herb Page, “We started on the back and struggled early. It appeared as we were going to be out of it, but the guys had a great finish. I am really proud of the way they stayed in there and battled.”
Aided by three double-bogeys in his first nine holes, sophomore J.P. Paiement (Des Ruisseaux, Quebec) appeared to be headed for another rough day, but three straight birdies on No. 6-7-8 brought him back to four-over as he helped the KSU comeback with a 75 today.
“After J.P. made bogey on No. 5, I told him to hang in there and try to get us a birdie down the stretch and he turned around and knocked in three of them,” said Page, “It was a huge lift for our team.”
Senior Nick Latimer (Brooklyn, Ohio / Brooklyn) was steady again throughout his round of 72, that included a noteworthy birdie on No. 16 after he topped his second shot into a fairway bunker. The 2009 MAC All-Tournament team selection recovered however and landed his next shot from 170 yards out within 10 feet. Another tough putt helped him save par on No. 17 and kept the momentum going while most of the team struggled through the first nine holes. Latimer closed out his round with a birdie on No. 6 then made par on the final three holes as he moved up six places into a tie for 21st overall with an eight-over 150 (78-72).
Five-over through 11 holes sophomore Brett Cairns (Courtland, Ontario) was slumping, but ran off six straight pars then capped off the day with a birdie on No. 9. His four-over 75 helped place him tied for 36th with a 12-over 154 (79-75) total.
Freshman Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ontario (Highland Secondary) improved on yesterday’s round by nine strokes, shooting a 79 today.
The Golden Flashes are expected to start tee times off hole No. 10 at 9:40 am Saturday