MAC Awards Several Honors to Kent State Women’s Golf Players and Coach
The No. 15 Kent State University women’s golf team won its 19th straight Mid-American Conference (MAC) Women’s Golf Championship on April 23 at the Silver Lake Country Club in Silver Lake, Ohio.
The Golden Flashes, who have won every championship tournament put on by the MAC, won the tournament by 34 strokes. The tournament hosts posted a final score of 11-over par 875 (289-299-288). The closest team to the Flashes was second-place Northern Illinois at 45-over par. Kent State’s four scorers made up the overall top four and were the only golfers in the field to finish within 10 strokes of par.
“It was a good week; I’m proud of all of them,” said head coach Greg Robertson. “Coming into the week we prepared well and did the things we needed to do. Everybody came out, stayed focused and took care of business for 54 holes.”
The individual tournament championship went to sophomore Michaela Finn, who finished at 2-under par 214 on the weekend. She entered the last day of the championship with a four-stroke lead on teammate Pimnipa Panthong and would finish three strokes up with a 1-under 71 in the final round. She started her day off with birdies on the first two holes to build a cushion, and she finished with four birdies on the day.
After the tournament, Kent State would bring home several pieces of hardware. Panthong headlined postseason award winners as the 2017 MAC Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Robertson won Coach of the Year honors, his second award in three seasons. Panthong and Finn joined Wad Phaewchimplee and Karoline Stormo to make up four of the five members of the All-MAC First Team. That same four were all named to the All-Tournament team.
Panthong gave Finn a tough fight for the title in a second-place finish. She had the best round of any golfer in the field on April 23 at 2-under par 70, matching Finn’s second-round score for the best in the tournament. Panthong finished at 1-over par 217. Fellow freshman Stormo placed third with a score of 4-over par 220. She played her best round of golf on the last day of the tournament with a score of 1-under par 71.
Competing in her last MAC Championship, Phaewchimplee finished fourth overall with a score of 8-over par 224. Phaewchimplee got off to a tough start in round three, but she finished the back nine strong with three birdies to card a 76. Kelly Nielsen had her best round of the weekend to finish her first MAC Championship appearance. Her third-round score of 77 pushed her into a tie for 23rd at 19-over par 235.
The Kent State Golden Flashes will move on to the NCAA Regional Tournament on May 8-10. Regional sites in 2017 are Athens, Georgia; Lubbock, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The selection show will air on the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” on April 27 at 11 a.m.