Kent State wins 19th MAC title
Golden Flashes beat field by 29 strokes; Hughes is medalist
MAINEVILLE, Ohio — Kent State secured its third consecutive and men's golf record 19th Mid-American Conference Championship on Sunday by posting a 29-stroke victory with a four round total of 1151 (292-271-292-292) at TPC River's Bend. Junior Mackenzie Hughes claimed individual medalist honors with a four-under 284 (70-67-73-74) earning him a two shot victory against teammate John Hahn as the Golden Flashes had four players finish in the top 10.
"Its hard to win a championship without have some team depth and all five of our guys contributed this week," said Director of Golf/Head Coach Herb Page. "We had three solid rounds and one really spectacular round on Friday afternoon. It was really rewarding to see our team play to their potential and perform the way they did in a championship setting."
Sunday's round of 292 was a culmination of a convincing week which saw No. 34 Kent State post the fifth widest margin of victory in the 65-year history of the MAC Championship. The Golden Flashes were followed by Ball State (1180), Eastern Michigan (1198) and Akron (1200). While Miami (1213), Northern Illinois (1216), Bowling Green (1221), Toledo (1229) and Ohio (1247) rounded out the team standings.
"Winning never gets old," said Hughes who has been part of three consecutiveMAC Championship team in his three years at Kent State. "To come out an execute the way we did as a team this week was awesome.
The win marks the third of Hughes' career and second this season. He completed the tournament with a 74 on Sunday making one birdie and three bogeys. Hughes' is now the 20th different Kent State player to claim individual medalist honors after taking third in the tournament each of the past two seasons.
"It was really satisfying for me individually to win after finishing behind John and Brett the past two seasons," said Hughes. "After shooting 67 on Friday afternoon I knew the tournament was within reach so yesterday and today I just tried to play smart and have good course management."
Hahn, the two-time reigning MAC medalist, equaled a team low with a final round 72, but it was not enough to catch Hughes. Hahn, a fourth-year senior and two-time All-American carded a two-under 286 (76-68-70-72) for the week as he earns his 16th career top five finish. After tying Hahn for medalist honors last year, senior Brett Cairns took fourth this season with a four-round total of 292 (70-70-76-76). Sophomore Kevin Miller completed the top 10 performers for the Golden Flashes with a 296 (76-70-76-74) that placed him ninth in the 45-man field.
Equaling Hahn for Kent State's low round today was freshmen Taylor Pendrith, who carded an even par 72. Tied for 42nd after the first two rounds on Friday, Pendrith played his final 36 holes in one-over to gain 25 spots on the field and finish tied for 27th with a 310 (82-83-73-72).
Hughes, Hahn and Cairns all earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.
|Pos.||Team||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Rd. 4||Total|