Golf Team, Alumnus Excel in National Spotlight During Memorable Weekend
A memorable weekend for both the men’s and women’s golf teams and for a former star put the Kent State University golf program in the national spotlight.
For the first time in the history of one of the most admired golf courses in the world, women competed for a title. Augusta National Golf Club, the acclaimed sight of the Masters Tournament, hosted the Augusta National Women's Amateur this weekend, and the Kent State women's golf team was represented by junior Pimnipa Panthong and senior Michaela Finn.
Ms. Panthong was one of the 30 women’s players who qualified for the final round of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament, held Saturday, April 6, at Augusta National. Female golfers had never before played an event at Augusta, which will host the Masters on April 11-14. She entered Saturday tied for third after shooting 3-under during a two-round qualifier at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans, Georgia. The junior carded a 6-over 78 score that left her tied for 17th at 3-under for the tournament
In a field of 72 competitors, Ms. Finn and Ms. Panthong played their first two rounds at Champion Retreat on Wednesday, April 3, and Thursday, April 4. Ms. Finn finished Wednesday’s round with a 4-over 76 score and improved in the second round with a 2-over 74 score. The senior missed the cut to advance to Saturday’s final round and finished with a 6-over 150 score.
Meanwhile, former Kent State star Corey Conners became the third former Kent State player to win on the PGA Tour when he fired a final round of 6-under 66 to capture the Valero Texas Open on Sunday, April 7. Mr. Conners joined Mackenzie Hughes and Ben Curtis as former Golden Flashes with PGA Tour wins. Mr. Curtis also won the Valero Texas Open in 2012.
The win was Mr. Conners’ first PGA Tour victory, and it punched his ticket for the Masters. His win marked the first golfer in nine years to win on the PGA Tour after qualifying on a Monday. He was 20-under for the tournament, winning by two shots over Charley Hoffman.
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