(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) rolled into southern California for the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge. This is the 22nd year of this event and Ohio State again serves as the host team. This is their first full field event of the 2016-2017 Spring Schedule.
Course: Palos Verdes Golf Club is set up at 6,017 yards, playing to par 71.
Format: The familiar “play 5, count 4” with teams also fielding players to participate as Individuals.
Field: This is a 15 team field, with 12 teams currently ranked in Golfstat’s Top 30. This is a loaded field. Below are the teams (alphabetically) with their ranking.
#3 Alabama, #25 Arizona, #14 Arizona State, #28 California, #22 Duke, #6 Florida, #16 Northwestern, #24 Ohio State, #18 Oklahoma State, #27 Tennessee, #32 San Diego State, #7 UCLA, #2 USC, #46 UNLV, Washington
Ohio State lineup
1 – Jessica Porvasnik | Sr. | 71.60 avg. (10 rounds)
2 – Jaclyn Lee | So. | 73.80 avg. (10 rounds)
3 – Katja Pogacar | Sr. | 73.65 avg. (8 rounds)
4 – Niki Schroeder | So. | 75.30 avg. (10 rounds)
5 – Rio Watanabe | r-Jr. | 74.50 avg. (6 rounds)
IND – Zoe-Beth Brake | r-Sr. | 80.33 avg. (3 rounds)
IND – Adeena Shears | Fr. | 74.00 avg. (1 round)
IND – Alex Wright | Fr. | 77.50 avg. (1 rounds)
I like this lineup. First, it provides every Buckeye a chance to tee it up in this big-time event. It’s a good opportunity for the younger players to get tested against some top flight competition.
The team finished their first round with a score of 299 (+15), placing them in 12th place, 19 strokes behind leader UCLA 280 (-4).
The Buckeyes were led by Jaclyn Lee’s 73 (+2). Katja Pogacar and Niki Schroeder each shot 75 (+4) while Rio Watanabe rounding out the team scoring with a 76 (+5). Jessica Porvasnik shot a 78 (+7) in her round. Jaclyn’s score placed her in 20th position in the 88 player field.
Competing as Individuals, Zoe-Beth Brake shot a very nice 74 (+3) as Adeena Shears and Alex Wright both shot 78 (+7).
Jessica had trouble getting her game on track on the front 9. Her six bogeys really stalled any hopes for a good score. Fortunately, she settled in on her back 9, playing it in +2. She played very well with 8 pars and one blemish, a double bogey on the 405 yard, par-4 14th hole. More on that later. I think that Jessica’s back 9 play will provide some momentum going into Monday’s 2nd round.
Jaclyn was “steady as she goes” for her round. She had 2 bogeys on her front 9, an parred every other hole. Frankly, that’s a well managed round. Sixteen pars in eighteen holes is working yourself around a golf course pretty well.
Katja stumbled a bit closing out her front 9 with bogeys on #8 and #9, but regained control with a well played (+1) on her back 9. Although Katja’s round was fairly decent, I think that like Jessica, her improved play on her back 9 will give her a boost for Monday’s 2nd round.
Niki also had a pretty good round. She had a very good start, parring her first 8 holes. After a bogey on #9, she parred the next 4 holes. Although double bogey-bogey on holes #14 and #15 ‘speed bumped’ her, Niki responded with 3 pars to finish her round.
Rio had two completely different 9’s. She completed her front 9 with birdies on #8 and #9 to make the turn at 34 (-1). Things went a bit sideways on the back 9 with 4 bogeys and a double bogey on, you guessed it, hole #14.
Zoe-Beth provided a little “senior statesman” cool with her round. Her 14 pars leveled out her round, and her score of 74 was the 2nd best Buckeye round of the day, placing her in T-34 place.
Adeena, starting on hole #10, had an interesting round. She had two holes that got away from her (a double bogey and a triple bogey – hole #14). Adeena also had 3 birdies, which were the most for any Buckeye in round 1.
Alex, also starting on hole #10, had a decent enough back 9 with a birdie and 3 bogeys. Unfortunately, she had a horrible start to her back 9, going +5 to par in her first three holes. Fortunately, she turned things around by finishing with 6 consecutive pars.
Note: the scoring stats in the following two paragraphs are for team play only. Individual play scores are not included.
Ohio State played the par 3’s to an average of 3.20 strokes, +4 to par, which ranked them 6th in that category. They played the par-4’s to 4.27, +15 to par, ranking 9th. The par-5’s were played to 5.20, +3 to par, ranking them 13th. They played the short holes well, but really struggled on the longer holes.
Ohio State racked up 67 pars, ranking them 1st, but scored only 2 birdies (thank you Rio), placing them 15th in this measure. .
The Buckeyes have a bit of work to do over the next two rounds. It’s not unreasonable to see them move from 12th position into maybe top 6-7 after Monday’s second round. From there, they can make a push up the leaderboard. There are a lot of teams they have to pass on the way up, so it’s a matter of playing well over the next two days and let the golf course sort things out.
The 405 yard, par-4 14th hole appeared to be OSU’s nemesis on Sunday. For the round it was the 5th hardest hole (compared to par) with a stroke average of 4.35. Ohio State (team play) averaged 5.20 strokes on the hole. If the Buckeyes could have played “field average” on the hole, they would be in 8th place. In the 1st round there were four double bogeys carded on the 14th hole; all by Buckeyes. So, if we solve that problem…
Here is a mug shot of the culprit, courtesy of Palos Verdes GC web site. It is a nasty layout.
A slight dogleg left par 4, which has a barranca running down the entire left side all the way to the green. An ideal tee shot is right center of the fairway which will open up the angle into the green, which is sloped front to back and surrounded by bunkers.