After the last round on Sunday, a Kent State golfer was sure to win the tournament.
KSU’s Pimnipa Panthong and Karoline Stormo had tied for first at eight-under-par 205 and were headed to a playoff. The Kent team had already won the tournament by five strokes.
“It’s kind of hard to watch” two of her best players facing off directly for a title, coach Lisa Strom said.
On the first playoff hole, Stormo made a three-foot putt, Panthong missed an eight-footer, and Stormo had her first championship trophy of the season. Panthong got the second-place award.
“It is awesome to take home every trophy we could except for the second place team trophy,” Strom said.
This win in the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate in Knoxville, Tennessee, was Kent State’s second win in its two tournaments this fall.
The Flashes’ score of 22-under-par 830 beat North Carolina-Charlotte by five strokes. Both teams were far ahead of third-place Louisiana State, which was 24 strokes behind Charlotte.
“UNCC played their best tournament of their short history,” Strom said. “It was a great battle and great to be tested;”
A third round nine-under par, fueled by back-to-back eagles by Stormo and freshman Caley McGinty, propelled KSU to the win.
“I got to see Caley make her eagle putt and Karoline’s chip in for eagle on 14, and that kept the lead,” Strom said.
Great play all tournament on par five and par three holes led to low scores throughout the tournament, including a rare three-under-par overall on par three holes by Panthong
“Throughout Division I women’s golf over the course of the year, maybe less than 10 players will average under par (on par three holes),” Strom said. “Par threes are hard, so to play them under you are going to be picking up strokes on the field.”
McGinty tied for fourth, jumping three spots with a three-under-par 68 on the last day.
Strom was impressed with McGinty’s showing in just her second college tournament.
“Such a tremendous start to her college career,” Strom said. “And if this is any indication of what we have got over the next four years, we couldn’t be more excited she chose Kent State.”
As the team prepares for a trip to Medinah, Illinois, for the Illini Women’s Invitational.
“It’s just managing ourselves and our emotions, taking care of our business,” Strom said. “If we can do that really well I would put Kent State up against any team in the country right now.”
Contact Owen MacMillan at email@example.com