Flashes' Conners wins Gopher Invitational for 2nd straight year
Kent State senior Corey Conners became the first back-to-back individual champion in the nine-year history of the Gopher Invitational with a one-shot victory on Monday. The Flashes finished third as a team at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minn.
Conners closed with a 2-under 69 in the final round to cap a 7-under tournament to best California's Brandon Hagy.
After back-to-back bogeys at the 202-yard 16th and 446-yard 17th hole, Conners needed a closing birdie at the long 571-yard final hole to claim the title.
The Golden Flashes began the day at even-par, trailing overnight leader New Mexico by just two shots when they teed off on Monday. KSU took the lead briefly on the back nine before experiencing some difficulties with the closing holes on the 7,152-yard, par-71 course.
New Mexico's 4-under team total was good for a six-shot victory over Baylor and nine shots better than the Flashes, who shot a 5-over (289) to finish at 5-over for the tournament.
After Conners, Kent State was led by freshman Josh Whalen, who tied for 19th overall in his first college tournament. He closed with a 74 to finish his three rounds at 5-over. Senior Taylor Pendrith was one shot behind Whalen and in a tie for 24th after a final-round 71 put him at 6-over for the week. Nick Scott shot 77 and finished tied for 35th at 9-over, and Ryan Troyer shot 75 to place tied for 39th at 10-over.
-- Staff report