Kent State Earns Spot In NCAA Championship

Updated 5/14/2006

May 14, 2006

Courtesy of Kent State Sports Information

KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State University women's golf team will make its third appearance at the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship, and its first in three years, after the Golden Flashes tied for sixth-place in the 21-team field at the NCAA Central Region in Bryan, Texas. Kent State totaled 11-over, 299 in the third round today (May 13) to tie host Texas A&M at The Traditions Golf Club and earn an automatic bid to the national tournament.

"We are very happy to have made it out of a very tough region," said head coach Mike Morrow. "We played very hard for 18 holes and for us to break 300 in that final round and to qualify for the national tournament, it says a lot about our program and the determination of our players."

The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championship May 23-26 in Columbus, Ohio. Regional champion USC, top-ranked Duke, Pepperdine, Florida, Oklahoma State and Nebraksa will join the Golden Flashes and Texas A&M at the national tournament. KSU previously qualified for the NCAA Championship in 2001 and 2003.

"We are on the bubble after the first nine holes," Morrow said. "But we played a great back nine and really battled. A lot of teams fell apart, but we went the other direction."

Kent State totaled of 919 for the weekend was its second lowest in six regional appearances. The 2003 squad which finished second in Lincoln, Neb. shot 917. The Golden Flashes also snapped a streak of nine straight rounds in regional play without a team total below 300, dating back to 2003.

Sophomore Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Tara Delaney (Carlow, Ireland/Gaelcholaiste Cheatharlach) saved her best for last, firing a 1-under 71 in the final round, surging from 14th place into a tie for fourth with a total score of 74-77-71-222 (+6).

Senior Becky Wood (Glossop, England/Glossopdale) notched her lowest round of the tournament with a 2-over 74, finishing in a tie for 28th, finishing at 228 (+12) after 77's in the first two rounds.

After rounds in the 80's the first two days, freshman Kirby Dreher (Ft. St. John, B.C./North Peace Secondary) and junior Karen Delaney (Carlow, Ireland/Gaelcholaiste Cheatharlach) each carded a 5-over 77 Saturday. Dreher finished the event 82-80-77-239 (+23) while Delaney totaled 87-85-77-249 (+33).

"Tara breaking today par was great," Morrow said. "She and Becky played really well today and both Kirby and Karen had good rounds."

Sophomore Kira Meixner (Richmond, B.C./Hugh Boyd Secondary) started the day tied for 26th overall, but struggled to an 83 on Saturday, placing in a tie for 62nd overall at 76-77-85-236 (+20).

The Traditions Golf Club - Bryan, Texas (Par 72/6,289 yards)

Top 10 Team Scores (54 holes, par 864): 1. USC (883), 2. Duke (885), 3. Pepperdine (903), 4. Florida (910), 5. Oklahoma State (916), T6. Kent State (919), T6. Texas A&M (919), 8. Nebraska (22), 9. Michigan State (927), 10. Northwestern (929).

Top Five Individuals (54 holes, par 216): 1. Irene Cho, USC -2 (71-74-69-214), 2. Amanda Blumenherst, Duke +2 (70-75-73-218), 3. Elizabeth Janangelo, Duke +5 (77-69-75-221), T4. Tara Delaney, Kent State +6 (74-77-71-222), T4. Jennifer Pandolfi, Duke +6 (71-77-74-222).

Kent State Individuals (54 holes): T4. Tara Delaney +6 (74-77-71-222), T28. Becky Wood +12 (77-77-74-228), T26. Kira Meixner +20 (76-77-85-236), T71. Kirby Dreher +23 (82-80-77-239), 99. Karen Delaney +33 (87-85-77-249).