Throughout the fall season, the Kent men’s golf team has struggled with consistency, playing great rounds but struggling to finish high. That was the case again on Tuesday.
“In Dallas we didn’t play well the very first round,” coach Jon Mills said. “We played pretty solid after that, but it is about getting those three rounds together.”
The Flashes finished the tournament in seventh at six-over-par 858, with the team unable to fully recover from a rough first round 295.
“We fell victim in that first round to a slow start, and took a little too long to get out of it,” Mills said.
He said it is difficult to place higher when you don’t have any players finish in the top ten.
The team’s highest finisher was sophomore Julien Paltrinieri, who led the Flashes for the first time this fall, tying for 24th with a one-over-par 214.
Paltrinieri played a strong final round, jumping up 24 spots in the individual scores.
“It was great to see Julien shoot five-under in that last round,” Mills said. “I think he is gaining a lot of confidence in his game and he is much more consistent (than) he was last year.”
Following Paltrinieri was freshman Cade Breitenstine, who placed high for Kent in the last two tournaments.
Breitenstine saw a slight slowdown, shooting a two-over-par 215 to finish tied for 27th.
“(Cade) has had an incredible freshman fall,” Mills said. “If you ask him he would not be happy with his play... but he was still consistent and that is what you look for in a freshman. If this is considered a ‘bad’ event for him we are looking pretty good.”
Juniors Will Kurtz and Josh Gilkinson tied for 29th, both scoring three-over-par 216.
Mills pointed to short game and wedge play as major issues that were holding the team back in this tournament.
“The thing we struggled with was definitely our par five scoring,” he said. “We did not take advantage and a big reason for that was our wedge game. It was not good which is frustrating because we have put a lot of work into the short game.”
The Flashes are currently ranked 49th in the country, and Mills is looking to build from there going into the spring season.
“Our goal is to be in a good position going into the MAC championship and wrap up that regional bid,” he said. “We have not done that yet, so that will be a big motivation.”
The second half of the season begins Feb. 22 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Contact Owen MacMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.