We are counting down the top 30 men’s teams heading into the fall college season.
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22. Kent State
2012-13 Golfweek rank: 23
Go-to guy: Senior Corey Conners
Season outlook: The Golden Flashes will rely on the experienced senior duo of Corey Conners and Taylor Pendrith, both of whom should be riding the momentum of successful summers.
Conners led the team in scoring average (72.07) last season, when he notched eight top-10 finishes, including a victory at the Gopher Invitational. This summer, he tied for third at the Monroe Invitational and was runner-up at the Canadian Men’s Amateur. Pendrith, coming off a July victory at the Porter Cup, was second on the team in scoring average last season (72.8) and posted seven top 10s, including victories at the MAC Championship and General Hackler Championship. Each finished the season in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, with Conners 31st and Pendrith 46th.
They will be joined by fellow senior Kyle Kmiecik and junior Nick Scott, both of whom were on Kent State’s NCAA Championship squad. Kevin Miller is the only major loss from last season, when the Golden Flashes finished a disappointing 27th at the NCAA finals. Freshman Josh Whalen from Canada also is an underrated player to keep an eye on this fall.
“We’ve been to the NCAA Championship five out of the last six seasons, but we’re still playing the role of underdog – and that’s fine. I’m really excited for this season to start,” said Kent State coach Herb Page.