Kent State grabs season-opening win at Branch Law Invite
Kent State with its season-opening hardware (Kent State photo)
Kent State with its season-opening hardware (Kent State photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Sept. 11, 2011) – Kent State’s women opened the season with a win Tuesday at the Branch Law Firm Dick MicGuire Invitational. The Golden Flashes finished five ahead of runner-up Pepperdine at the UNM Championship Golf Course.

When the college golf world last saw Kent State, the Flashes had advanced to match play – for a second consecutive year – at the NCAA Women’s Championship. Every one of the five players on that roster returned and traveled to New Mexico for the season opener, but it was the extra player who led the team this week. Junior Marissa Kirkwood posted rounds of 71-71-72 for a 2-under 214 total that left her tied for sixth. Senior Michaela Finn was another shot back in a tie for 10th. Kent State counted two other players in the top 20 as Pimnipa Panthong and Chloe Salort tied for 19th.

In all, Kent State finished with a 6-under 858 for 54 holes. The Flashes led the tournament in par-3 scoring (+3), par-4 scoring (+13), and had a team total of 50 birdies.

As for Pepperdine, a 7-under 281 left the Waves with the best final-round score, but it wasn’t quite enough to move ahead of Kent State. Pepperdine started the day in eighth place.

The Waves did claim the top player on the individual leaderboard, senior Hira Naveed. The Perth, Australia native had a final-round 68 to reach 7-under 209 for the tournament and leapfrog first-round leader Darian Zachek of New Mexico. Pepperdine’s last medalist was Marissa Chow at the 2015 WCC Championships.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m really happy to finally get the win,” Naveed said. “I felt like my whole game held together really well, and I felt really good mentally throughout the event. The team played really solid as well, and we are all very happy with how we finished the tournament strong. We all have a lot to look forward to and we feel like this is just the beginning for our young group. We are very excited for the year ahead.”

Information from Pepperdine Athletics used in this report

Results: Dick McGuire Invitational
1AustraliaHira NaveedAustralia70071-70-68=209
T2NMDarian ZachekDeming, NM50070-67-73=210
T2SwitzerlandGioia CarpinelliSwitzerland50072-70-68=210
4CACindy OhGardena, CA40072-67-73=212
5GermanySophie HausmannGermany40069-71-73=213

View full results for Dick McGuire Invitational

ABOUT THE Dick McGuire Invitational

54-hole women's college tournament hosted by the University of New Mexico. Team (best four scores out of five players each round) and individual competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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