(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Dept and Big Ten.. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Birdiefire.)
After losing to in the first round of last week’s Big Ten Match Play event, the Buckeyes won their final two matches (Nebraska, Indiana) which should build a little momentum going into this week’s tournament. The Ohio State Men’s Golf is island hopping to the Puerto Rico Classic Sunday through Tuesday.
The course, Rio Mar Beach & Spa (Rio Grande, PR) was set up at 6,902 yards long and played to a par of 72.
This is the typical “play 5, count 4” format. This gives teams a little wiggle room in the scoring, but not much.
The 15 team field includes 11 teams rated in the Golfstat Top-50 rankings. The contestants are: #48 Alabama, #22 Clemson, #9 Georgia, #28 Kentucky, Maryland, #47 Middle Tennessee State, #15 Mississippi, #17 North Carolina, #50 North Carolina State, #36 Northwestern, Ohio State, #40 Purdue, UNC-Greensboro, Virginia Tech.
The Buckeyes teeing it up: Will Grimmer, Caden Orewiler, Caleb Ramirez, Daniel Wetterich and Clark Engle. This is a young lineup – 3 sophomores, 1 freshman and 1 senior.
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
Ohio State shot a team score of 289 (+1) to sit in 5th position. Georgia is top dog after first round, having shot a 281 (-7). However, Ohio State is still well positioned. Good first rounds will do that for you.
Clark Engle and Caden Orweiler shot 71’s (-1) to lead the Buckeyes on Sunday. Daniel Wetterich 73 (+1) and Will Grimmer 74 (+2) contributed to the team score. Caleb Ramirez struggled a bit on the back nine and carded a 79 (+7).
Clark had a very solid round of golf. He had 4 birdies and 12 pars. For sixteen of the eighteen holes he was flawless. His only “oops” was a double bogey 5 on the long 192-yard par 3, 3rd hole. Probably one bad swing in four hours of play is running at a pretty high level.
Caden’s round was similar to Clark’s. He had 13 pars and 3 birdies. With only two bogeys in 18 holes, Caden didn’t miss too many shots.
Daniel provided a lively round for the scorekeeper to track. He had 7 pars, 6 birdies (!), 3 bogeys and 2 double bogeys. All in all, quite an exciting day.
Will carded 10 pars and 3 birdies, but also had 5 bogeys. Nothing to be alarmed about; these numbers indicate that Will was just a little out of sync and wasn’t really too much off with his game.
Unfortunately, Caleb was a bit off with his game in the opening round. He had 2 double bogeys (on par-5’s, no less) and got scorched on hole #17 (392 yard par-4) with a triple bogey 7. There are trees to the right of this fairway and water that runs the entire length of the hole on the left. I’ve got a pretty good idea what happened… However, Caleb did ring up 3 birdies, so there is something to build on for the second round.
|Puerto Rico Classic||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.10, +2 to par, ranking them 3rd in the field. They played the par-4s to 4.10, +5 to par, ranking them T-3 in this category. They played the par-5s to 5.05, +1 to par, ranking them T-11. Man, if not for the long holes…
Ohio State had 51 pars, ranking them T-9th; not bad, but not that great. However, they did score 19 birdies, ranking them T-4th. If you’re going to be so-so in shooting pars, scoring a lot of birdies is a great way to compensate. Well done, Buckeyes.
Ohio State won their final two matches in the B1G Match Play event last week. This confidence, and execution, carried over into the 1st round of the PR Classic.
Last week, I noted there were a few “gunslingers” on this team. Sling guns they did. Daniel (6 birdies) ranked him #T-2 for birdies scored in the 84 player field. His fellow team mates all scored 3 to four birdies on the day. Everyone got into the act with birdies. All Buckeyes ere within the top 32 in birdie scorers.
This was a good start to team stroke play competition for their Spring schedule. I’m sure that Coach Moseley and Coach Smith are happy with results, yet are looking to squeeze few mire strokes out of the course.
Round 2 of the Puerto Rico Classic on Monday. Please stop back for 2nd round recap.