(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)

The Ohio State Women’s Golf (OSUWG) rolls into Chapel Hill this weekend (counting Friday as ‘weekend’) for the Tar Heel Invitational. Here’s the background.

Course:

The tournament will be played at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, NC. The course is playing to 6,379 yards and to a par of 72.

The “Blue Tees” yardage is 6,231 with a course rating of 70.1 and a slope of 127. The tournament setup will be a bit more challenging. I scrolled through the ‘course tour’ and all I saw was tee box-trees-green. The holes aren’t that long, but accuracy off the tee will be critical.

Format:

Three rounds of stroke play, 54 holes. It’s ‘play 5, count 4’.  This is a challenging course.

Teams:

This is a 18 team field comprising of some very good teams. Host school North Carolina entered an “A” and a “B” team, so 17 universities, 18 teams. Below re the participating teams and their Golfweek Top-30 ranking, alphabetically.

No. 1 Alabama, No. 14 Arkansas, No. 13 Duke, LSU, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, No. 9 North Carolina (2) , North Carolina State, No. 23 Ohio State, Rollins College,
No. 19 South Carolina, Tennessee, UNCW, Vanderbilt, Virginia, No. 26 Wake Forest

 

Buckeyes:

1 — Jessica Porvasnik | Sr. | 70.80 avg. (5 rounds)
2 — Jaclyn Lee | So. | 72.40 avg. (5 rounds)
3 — Katja Pogacar | Sr. | 73.00 avg. (3 rounds)
4 — Niki Schroeder | So. | 74.20 avg. (5 rounds)
3 — Alex Wright | Fr. | 77.00 avg. (5 rounds)

This is an interesting lineup for the Buckeyes for a couple of reasons. First, Katja is back in the lineup. Second, Rio is not. I see the nucleus starting to take shape. Unless something goes drastically wrong, seniors Jessica Porvasnik and Katja Pogacar will be in the lineup. The next wave, chronologically, of sophomores Jaclyn Lee and Niki Schroeder will have at least one of them in the lineup. Alex Wright must have had a very good week of practice, since she is in the lineup.

Rio Watanabe must not have that good of a week, since she is not teeing it up this week. However, I’m not too concerned, since IIRC, last year at this time Rio sat out an event, then came back in the Spring portion of the schedule and played quite well.

 

Round 1 

The “new look” Buckeyes had a very good opening round. They shot a team score of 283 (-5) to sit in 2nd place, a stroke behind #21 ranked Wake Forest.

Ohio State was led by Niki Schroeder 68 (-4) and Jessica Porvasnik 70 (-2). Also contributing to the team score were, Katja Pogacar 72 (E) and Alex Wright 73 (+1), and . Jaclyn Lee rounded out the scoring with a 74 (+2).  The Buckeyes teed off on the back nine (hole #10), so let’s take it from there.

 

Jessica

Jessica was in complete control of her opening round. She was even par (1 birdie/1 bogey) through 8 holes, then cruised on home by playing the next 10 holes in -2 for her 70. That is pretty close to being on auto-pilot. Jessica’s 70 had her in a T-6th place after the 1st round.

 

Jaclyn

Jaclyn was slow finding her game, going +4 through her first 8 holes. Fortunately, she scored 4 birdies to only 2 bogeys on her last 10 holes for her 74 (+2).

 

Katja

Well, Katja made it back into the lineup and responded with an even par 72. She scored 3 birdies/3 bogeys on her round. There just wasn’t a whole lot that went wrong; both her front and back nine’s were played in even par.

 

Niki

Niki didn’t mess around on Friday. She scored 6 birdies/2 bogeys enroute to her 68 (-4). She ended the round in 2nd place amongst 96 golfers. That’s a fast start to the weekend.

 

Alex

Alex had a pretty solid round of 73 (+1), scoring 3 birdies/4 bogeys. She was even par through 13 holes, then went bogey-bogey on holes #5 and #6, her 14th and 15th holes. However, she bounced back by playing her final three holes in -1 to par.  That’ll get Alex in a better frame of mind for Saturday’s round.

 

Comments

The Buckeyes played a very good round of golf by several measures. First, they abided by the golf version of the Hippocratic Oath and “did themselves no harm”. No one shot worse than bogey, and in 90 holes, there were only 16 of those. That is just about as clean a team scorecard you’ll see.

Ohio State played the par 3’s to an average of 2.85 strokes, -3 to par, which ranked them #1 in that category. They played the par-4’s to 4.04, +2 to par, ranking T-2. The par-5’s were played to 4.90, -2 to par, ranking them T-3.

I consider the par 3’s and par 5’s to be the “scoring” holes. If a team is going to shoot birdies (or better), it’s most likely on these holes. The Buckeyes did what they needed to do, and as a bonus, played the tougher (scoring relative to par) par 4 holes very well, too.

Ohio State racked up 55 pars and led the field with their 19 birdies. This was a helluva round of golf. This was a well played team round. When your highest scoring player still shoots +2 and sits in 34th place, you know everyone had their “swing” today. With 96 golfers and all your players are in the top third in scoring, you don’t have to spend much time looking down the leaderboard to find all the Buckeyes.

 

 

First round Buckeye scores, below:

Par 72 Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 283 0 0 283
Jessica Porvasnik 70 0 0 70
Jaclyn Lee 74 0 0 74
Katja Pogacar 72 0 0 72
Niki Schroeder 68 0 0 68
Alex Wright 73 0 0 73

 

I’ll have 2nd round recap sometime Sunday. lease stop by, thanks.