Kent State Headed To NCAA Championship

Updated 5/18/2008

 

Story courtesy of Kent State Sports Information

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio ? Led by a final round 71 from senior Tom Ballinger (Mansfield, Ohio / Mansfield), the Kent State men’s golf team finished tied for eighth at the NCAA Central Regional, advancing them to the NCAA Championship May 28-30. With a 301 on Saturday, the Golden Flashes finished the tournament with a three round total of 898 (302-295-301) to earned the program its 13th championship appearance and first since the 2004 season.

 

 “Sometimes all you need one great score to lead the team and Tom came through for us today” said Head Coach Herb Page, “He hasn’t quit the whole year despite being put in and out of the line-up. He is a remarkable individual and I’m extremely proud of him.”

 

The most experienced golfer in the KSU line-up this week, Ballinger delivered for the Golden Flashes when it matter most. Posting the third lowest round in the field on Saturday the All-American Scholar, shot an even par 71 as he climbed 61 spots to finish in a tie for 20th at 11-over, 224 (79-74-71).

 

 “Tom drove the ball well all week and that really helped him,” said Page, “Plus he played in four state championships in high school on this course and was in out line-up when we where here a few weeks ago.”

 

With Kent State beginning the day on hole No. 10 at the par 71 Ohio State Scarlet Course, Ballinger pared 10 of the first 11 holes, including nine straight at one point. Following his second bogey of the day on No. 2 that placed him at two-over, he gained a stoke back with a birdie on No. 4. The 2006 First Team All-MAC selection then pulled back to even with another birdie the par four, 401-yard seventh. Ballinger then closed out strong with two more pars to complete the lowest round by a Golden Flash all week.

 

Senior David Markle (Shelbourne, Ontario / Centre Dufferin), recorded his eighth top 20 finish of the season after today’s six-over 77 tied him for 17th with a three-round total of 10-over, 223 (73-73-77). Markle made two birdies on the day and after three straight bogeys on his back nine, closed out the round with back-to-back pars.

 

Freshman John Hahn (Hudson, Ohio / Hudson) was up and down to started the day with two birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey in the first nine holes as he made the turn at three-over. After another bogey on No. 1, he regrouped and ran off seven straight pars on his way to a five-over 76. The MAC Golfer and Freshman of the Year ended this weeks event tied for 33rd with a 12-over 225 (75-74-76).

 

Appeared to be out of the scoring for Kent State after playing the first 12 holes at eight-over, freshman Brett Cairns (Courtland, Ontario) rallied himself and the team with two birdies on the final six holes. Cairns earned a stroke back on the par five fourth and then took another back with a three on the par four seventh as he ended the day with a six-over 77. The Second Team All-MAC honoree finished the tournament at 20-over 233 (81-75-77) placing him tied for 96th of 141 golfers.

 

Sophomore David Ludlow (Burton, Ohio / Berkshire), tied for 65th over all with a three day score of 16-over 229 (75-74-80). Ludlow birdied hole No. 10 to start the day, before posting consecutive double-bogeys that dropped him to three-over. Seven straight pars followed before he ran into trouble on the final eight holes as the First Team All-MAC pick ended his day with a nine-over 80.

 

Wake Forest claimed the team title with an 879 (290-287-302) followed by Oklahoma State and Illinois each with an 889. Also advancing to the NCAA Championship along with the Golden Flashes from the Central Regional are Florida, Louisville, Alabama, Texas A&M, Penn State, and Indiana.

 

 “Our guys really believed in themselves all season,” said Page, “The stiff winds hardened the greens and the course got tougher as the week wore on. I’m proud of the way they hung in there mentally.”

 

Kevin Tway of Oklahoma State took individual medalist honors with a 214 (70-69-75) by one stroke over Brendan Gielow of Wake Forest and Robert Rohanna Penn State.

 

The NCAA Championship is held at Purdue University’s Kampen Course, where the Golden Flashes claimed the Boilermaker Invitational with a 22-under 842 earlier this season.

 

Kent State        Par    Rd1    Rd2    Rd3    total

T 17     David Markle     +10    73     73    77    223

T 20     Tom Ballinger     +11    79     74    71    224

T 33     John Hahn         +12    75     74    76    225

T 65     David Ludlow     +16    75     74    80    229

T 96     Brett Cairns     +20    81     75    77    233

 

 

Rank Team Par Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 total

1. 19 Wake Forest +27 290 287 302 879

T-2. 6 Oklahoma State +37 293 299 297 889

T-2 Illinois +37 298 292 301 889

T-4. 10 Florida +42 294 300 300 894

T-4 28 Louisville +42 301 293 300 894

6. 3 Alabama +44 292 295 309 896

7 26 Texas A&M +45 298 294 305 897

T-8 34 Kent State +46 302 295 301 898

T-8 37 Penn State +46 304 286 286 898

10 23 Indiana +49 300 297 304 901

11 13 Tennessee +50 301 300 301 902

T-12 Eastern Kentucky +52 302 289 313 904

T-12 Michigan +52 298 300 306 904

14. Eastern Michigan +54 297 302 307 906

15 8 Georgia Tech +56 307 299 302 908

T-16 18 Lamar +59 299 301 311 911

T-16 Ohio State +59 299 303 309 911

18 Colorado +60 301 303 308 912

T-19 31 Wichita State +62 302 300 312 914

T-19 TCU +62 302 302 310 914

T-19 40 Arkansas +62 304 304 306 914

22 Texas-Arlington +64 308 298 310 916

23 Cleveland State +74 313 299 314 926

24 Marquette +78 314 299 317 930

25 Baylor +87 307 309 323 939

26 Sacred Heart +98 316 311 323 950

27 Loyola (Md) +101 318 314 321 953