Men's preview: Mid-American Conference

Kent State after winning the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate on Oct. 16.

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RankNameSchoolRating
1Casey FernandezSo. Miss.  66.31 
2Tomasz AndersonJ'Ville St  67.12 
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4Hunter StewartVanderbilt  67.27 
5Maverick McNealyStanford  67.32 

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He may be small in stature, but when it comes to success, accomplishments, honors and awards, Kent State men’s coach Herb Page stands as a giant in the golf community.

The leader of the Golden Flashes men’s program for 30-plus years, Page, a native of Markham, Ontario, is a member of the Northern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame, the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame, the Varsity “K” Alumni Association Hall of Fame and the Portage County Hall of Fame.

One might think he is hall-of-famed out.

Not quite.

Last month, the personable Page was named for induction into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame. Along with Stephen Ross, former Royal Canadian Golf Association executive director, and Graham Cooke, a former top amateur player and course designer, Page will be inducted during ceremonies May 9 at Wooden Sticks Golf Club in Uxbridge.

Although each of his other hall honors carries its own level of prestige, this one may be the most special of all for Page, who also serves as director of golf at Kent State.

“Being inducted into the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame is extra special because of my roots in Markham and all the people who got me started in the game when I was a youngster. I left Markham when I was 18 (to attend Kent State, where he was a three-sport letterman), and a lot of people there have helped me get to where I am now.

“This is such a great honor, but I know it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support from everyone here at Kent State and all the very talented golfers from Ontario who have come to Kent State and helped this program so very much.”

Last season, Page guided the Golden Flashes (T-19) to their second consecutive top-20 finish at the NCAA Championship. Kent State is one of only 10 programs to have placed in the top 20 in the past two years.

Since taking over the program in 1978, Page, who in 2008 was the recipient of the GCAA’s Labron Harris Award, has directed Kent State to 74 tournament titles. He has produced 82 All-Mid-American Conference players, 21 All-Americans and 19 All-America Scholar-Athletes.

This fall, the Golden Flashes won two tournament titles and finished the fall season 18th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

• • •

Top of the class: Kent State

Best player this fall: Taylor Pendrith, Kent State

• • •

Past champions

2007: Eastern Michigan

2008: Eastern Michigan

2009: Kent State

2010: Kent State

2011: Kent State

• • •

Conference capsules

Kent State (Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: No. 18)

Golden Flashes took advantage of the rain-shortened Inverness Intercollegiate to pick up a win, then rallied on the final day to capture the team title at The Ridges.

Ball State (No. 67)

No better than fifth in five starts, but Tyler Merkel had two top-10 finishes in the fall.

Akron (No. 96)

Three eighth-place finishes leave much to be desired, but a second at the D.A. Weibring shows potential.

Eastern Michigan (No. 102)

Eagles either finished 10th or seventh in the fall. Most telling stat: only 2-28-1 against teams in the top 100.

Northern Illinois (No. 153)

Runner-up at Cardinal Intercollegiate salvages what was a mediocre fall for the Huskies.

Toledo (No. 154)

If not for a third at the one-day Inverness event, Rockets would not have posted a single finish inside the top 11.

Bowling Green (No. 171)

Falcons won the John Piper Intercollegiate, but finished fall with back-to-back finishes outside the top 13.

Miami-Ohio (No. 185)

In five starts, the Hawks never finished in the top 10.

Ohio University (No. 226)

A modest fall performance was capped by a season-best third-place finish at the Dayton Fall Invite.

Conference championship

May 4-6, Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Ill.

Lance Ringler's prediction

Kent State. Only one team has a chance this year to knock off Kent State and that is Ball State, but the Cardinals just don't have the depth to beat Herb Page's squad over 72 holes.

• • •

Complete coverage

Wondering how your favorite conference is shaping up headed into the spring season? Who is our favorite to pick up the automatic qualifier? Check out our conference-by-conference break down with our complete coverage page here.

• • •

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