Kent State Finishes Second at Regionals, Moves on to National Championship
The No. 12 Kent State University men’s golf team has booked its ticket to the 2017 NCAA National Championship with a second-place finish at the Washington Regional at 3-over par 855 (287-282-286).
The Kent State Golden Flashes were among the leaders throughout the weekend and led the par-71 regional tournament for a portion of the third round. Kent State finished 12 strokes above the cut line and were six strokes shy of the top spot, claimed by No. 1 Southern California.
“These regionals are tough and nerve-wracking, but we had a great last two days,” said head coach Herb Page. “This was an outstanding championship golf course. Today, we made 18 birdies and two eagles, and we still didn’t shoot under par. As I’ve said all year long, this team can make a lot of birdies. If we keep doing that, we’ll be fine.”
The Golden Flashes will move on to Nationals, taking place May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Illinois, hosted by Northern Illinois University. The final three days of the championship will be televised live by the Golf Channel.
“We’re going to the National Championship with the full intent to go and win it,” Page proclaimed. “We have a couple of things to work on, but we’ll prepare and have our best game ready to go when we get there.”
Ian Holt had his best round of the tournament on May 17 and made a run at the individual medalist honor. He shot a 67 in round three to finish tied for second at 4-under par 209. Holt finished three strokes off individual medalist Cole Miller. Holt recorded five birdies on the final day of the tournament and added an eagle on the 11th.
Bjarki Petursson followed his career-best day with a 72 in the final round. The sophomore finished tied for 11th at even par 213. Josh Whalen finished his week in the top 15, claiming a tie for 13th place at 1-over par 214. He matched his score from May 16 at 72, aided by a pair of birdies on the back nine.
Gisli Sveinbergsson finished the tournament and scored for the Flashes in a tie for 29th at 8-over par 221. Like Whalen, the sophomore matched his second round score at 75. Chase Johnson maintained his spot at 40th and finished with a score of 11-over par 224. He carded a 75 on the final day of the tournament.
The 2017 spring season marks the first time since 2010 that both Kent State golf teams have qualified for Nationals. Kent State and Pepperdine are the only non-Power 5 teams in the country with both golf programs headed to Nationals.