NCAA Women's Golf Regional Preview

Updated 5/8/2012
Courtesy of Kent State Sports Information

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KENT, Ohio - The Kent State women’s golf team will compete in their 12th NCAA Regional this week when the Golden Flashes head to State College, Pa. for the 2012 NCAA East Regional at Penn State University’s Blue Course. It marks the first time Kent State will play in the East Regional in program history.
 
Kent State, one of 24 teams in the East Regional, aims to advance to their fifth NCAA Championship in program history and first since 2009-10.
 
The Golden Flashes will have a practice round on Wednesday, teeing off from the No. 1 tee at 11:42 a.m. The 54-hole tournament will feature 18 rounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with tee times beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET from both the No. 1 and No. 10 holes each day.
 
Kent State will begin their Thursday round at noon ET from the No. 10 tee and will start Friday from the No. 1 tee at 7:30 a.m. The Golden Flashes will be paired with San Diego State and Maryland the first two rounds. The tournament field will be re-seeded for Saturday’s final round, with the top 12 teams and individuals teeing off starting at 7:30 a.m., while the remaining teams will start at noon.
 
The Blue Course will play as a par-72, 6,253-yard course for the field. Live stats will be available through golfstat.com.
 
The last time Kent State played the Penn State Blue Course was in 2007, when the Golden Flashes won the Lady Northern Invitational Sept. 22-23.


SCOUTING THE GOLDEN FLASHES
2012 Mid-American Conference Golfer of the year Mercedes Germino continues to lead the Golden Flashes, as the senior was the top finisher for Kent State in eight events this season and has seven top 20 finishes this season. Boasting a 74.4 stroke average this season, Germino ranks in the top 10 in Kent State career marks in career stroke average (75.6).

Freshman Jennifer Ha joined Germino as a first-team all-MAC selection this year and became Kent State’s ninth MAC Freshman of the Year with her stellar season in 2011-12. Ha ranked second on the team and third in the MAC this season in stroke average (75.9), and thanks to her even-par 72 in the final round of the 2012 MAC Championship, Ha garnered MAC All-Tournament team accolades.

In the third spot, senior Mandi Morrow garnered second-team all-MAC accolades for the second straight season. On the year, Morrow owns a 76.5 stroke average, a mark that mirrors her average from last season. Morrow’s round of 68 during the Stanford Intercollegiate this past fall ranks second-best on the team this season and ninth-best in program history.

Senior Shamira Marshall has shown a penchant for the big stage as she finished tied for fourth at the MAC Championships this season, helping her earn all-tournament team honors for thethird straight year; Marshall is the first player in MAC history to accomplish the feat. As a senior, Marshall is averaging 77.6 strokes per round as Kent State’s fourth golfer.

Sophomore Erin Hawe has been a strong addition for Kent State in her first season in the starting rotation. In her first MAC Championship, Hawe finished tied for fourth and was the tournament leader in pars (39) for the three-day event to earn all-tournament team accolades. The second-team all-MAC selection is averaging 77.8 strokes per round this season.
 
GOING FOR GOLD
Kent State women’s golf extended both the Mid-American Conference’s longest streak of consecutive MAC tournament championships and longest active streak of consecutive conference titles in any sport with the team’s 14th MAC championship victory in 2012. Since the tournament’s inception in 1999, the only team to take home MAC women’s golf team championships is Kent State. The box to the right shows the next closest streaks in Mid-American Conference history.
 
QUATTUORDECUPLE, FOR ALL YOU WORDIES
Kent State continued its streak of Mid-American Conference success April 29 as the Golden Flashes captured their 14th consecutive MAC championship at the Hawthorns Golf and Country Club in Fishers, Ind. Kent State won by 16 strokes over Ball State thanks to a team score of 12-over 300, the team’s lowest score of the tournament and second-lowest of the tournament. Senior Mercedes Germino shot a two-over 74 on Sunday, missing a tie for first place my one stroke to finish third overall with an eight-over 224. Freshman Jennifer Ha turned in an even-par 72 on Sunday for Kent State’s low score. Her effort vaulted her into a tie for fourth place to earn MAC All-Tournament team accolades. Joining Germino and Ha on the all-tournament team were senior Shamira Marshall and sophomore Erin Hawe, who tied for fourth with Ha with 13-over 229.
 
FAMILIAR FACES AT THE EAST REGIONAL
Thanks to a schedule ranked 25th toughest in the nation, Kent State will see plenty of familiar faces on the Blue Course at the NCAA East Regional. Kent State has faced 16 of its 23 regional foes this season, including Michigan State and Oklahoma State, whom the Golden Flashes have seen four times during the regular season. Also of note, Kent State was one of seven teams from the East Regional that participated in the University of Georgia’s 2012 Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic: Alabama, Augusta State, Florida, Michigan State, Wake Forest and South Carolina.
 
The Golden Flashes will also see Kent State grad and KSU Hall of Famer Jan Dowling, head coach for the University of Florida.
 
NEXT UP
The top eight teams of each of the three 24-team regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship May 22-25 in Franklin, Tenn.