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Kent State wins playoff for final match-play spot

PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIF.--As the saying goes, it's not how but how many. And that's all that matters to Kent State coach Herb Page as his team's season continues this afternoon at the NCAA Championship.

Four of his five Golden Flash golfers (Kevin Miller, Taylor Pendrith, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes) made bogeys on the par-4 18th during the sudden-death playoff with Florida State to determine the eighth and final team that would advance to match play. But a birdie by Kyle Kmiecik from eight feet allowed Kent to post a two-over total, one stroke lower than the Seminoles.

FSU carded a three-over score, with pars from Brooks Koepka and Wesley Graham, but a bogey from Joaquin Lolas and double bogeys from Chase Seiffert and Daniel Berger ultimately costing the squad the final spot.

"We breathe again," Page said walking off the green, the color having returned to his face after a harrowing 40 minutes watching the 10 players get through the 18th. "There's life."

Only Kmiecik and Koepka hit the green in regulation, the pressure of the moment evident in the swings of the players. Kmiecik hit a 5-iron from 199 yards to set up his birdie.

As Kent State's reward, the team now faces Alabama, which claimed the No. 1 seed in the match-play bracket after shooting a seven-over 859 during the 54-hole stroke-play qualifying.

 
FRIDAY QUARTERFINALS Pairings
All times PDT

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 Kent State
10 am--Justin Thomas vs. Kevin Miller
10:09--Cory Whitsett vs. Kyle Kmiecik
10:18--Scott Strohmeyer vs. Taylor Pendrith
10:27--Bobby Wyatt vs. Corey Conners
10:36--Hunter Hamrick vs. Mackenzie Hughes

No. 4 California vs. No. 5 San Diego State
10:45--Max Homa vs. J.J. Spaun
10:54--Brandon Hagy vs. Colin Featherstone
11:03--Pace Johnson vs. Matt Hoffenberg
11:12--Michael Kim vs. Tom Berry
11:21--Joel Stalter vs. Alex Kang

No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 7 Oregon
11:30--Pontus Widegren vs. Robbie Ziegler
11:39--Alex Kim vs. Andrew Vijarro
11:48--Pedro Figueiredo vs. Daniel Miernicki
11:57--Anton Arboleda vs. Eugene Wong
12:06 p.m.--Patrick Cantlay vs. Jonathan Woo

No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Washington
12:15--Toni Hakula vs. Charlie Hughes
12:24--Cody Gribble vs. Trevor Simsby
12:33--Dylan Frittelli vs. Cheng-Tsung Pan
12:42--Jordan Spieth vs. Ty Chambers
12:51--Julio Vegas vs. Chris Williams

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July 28, 2014

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