Kent State Rallies to Top Ball State for MAC Men’s Golf Title


FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Ball State men’s golf team came up just short Sunday in its bid for a Mid-American Conference Championship. 
No. 29 Kent State rallied from 10 strokes down entering the final day at Sycamore Hills Golf Club to win by three and defend its title. The Cardinals finished runner-up for the second year in a row, coming closer to winning than any other year since their last championship in 1986.
Kent State started to chip into the lead late in the front nine Sunday. The Cardinals steadied the ship and continued to lead by five midway through the back nine. But things swung at the par-5 15th, which Kent State’s counters combined to play in 3 under. Ball State’s played it even. The Golden Flashes rode that momentum the rest of the way.
Ball State’s Michael VanDeventerJohnny Watts and Timothy Wiseman each held the solo individual lead at some point during the final round. But in the end, the highest-ranked player in the field, No. 22 Ian Holt, led his team up the leaderboard and captured individual medalist honors in the process.
Holt finished with a 72-hole total of 295 (+7) after playing the final two rounds in even par. He edged teammate Bjarki Petursson by one stroke for the top spot.
Wiseman and Watts, who was seeking the second MAC individual title of his career, ended the tournament two shots back in a tie for third place. It was the third time Watts finished in the top 3 at the MAC Championships. VanDeventer, the 54-hole leader, tied for seventh, while Michael Makris gave the Cardinals four in the top 20 with a tie for 18th.
Wiseman led Ball State in the final round with a 75. The Cardinals also counted a 76 from Watts, a 78 from Jack Cunningham and an 80 from Makris on the way to a team score of 309 for the day. They finished with a total of 1199 (+47).
Kent State overtook the Cardinals with a team round of 295 to finish the event with a total score of 1196 (+44). It was the first time they held the lead since early in the second round. Ball State led after both the second and third rounds.
The weather Sunday was the best of the week, but challenging hole locations made Sycamore Hills play just as tough as it did the first three rounds. The scoring average for the week was just a shade under 78.
Top Teams
1. Kent State, 1196 (+44): 293-306-301-296
2. Ball State, 1199 (+47): 302-293-295-309
3. Miami, 1209 (+57): 297-309-308-295
4. Akron, 1226 (+74): 297-313-304-312
5. Northern Illinois, 1239 (+87): 308-310-315-306
Ball State Scores
T3. Johnny Watts, 297 (+9): 75-75-71-76
T3. Timothy Wiseman, 297 (+9): 77-73-72-75
T7. Michael VanDeventer, 300 (+12): 70-71-77-82
T18. Michael Makris, 309 (+21): 80-74-75-80
37. Jack Cunningham, 322 (+34): 84-80-80-78

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