(Zoe-Beth Brake locking in – photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Birdiefire)

The Ohio State Women’s Golf (OSUWG) bounced back to the Southwest for the Westbrook Spring Invitational, held at Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, AZ, held Sunday and Monday (Feb 26/27).

This is a 54-hole event with the first two rounds (36 holes) played on Sunday and the final round played on Monday.  Sunday will be a long day for everyone.The first day, in his type of schedule is always grueling. Walking a round of golf probably runs between 5-6 miles. A player is additionally lugging a loaded golf bag, weighing 30-35 pounds. Eighteen holes is a workout – 36 holes is a slog.

Course: The Vistas Course is set up at 6,269 yards, playing to par 72.

Format: The familiar “play 5, count 4” with teams also fielding a player to participate as Individuals.

Field: This is a 13 team field, with 2 teams currently ranked in Golfstat’s Top 30. Below are the teams (alphabetically) with their ranking.

#29 Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Notre Dame, #28 Ohio State, Oregon State, UC Davis, Washington State, Wisconsin

As you see, this field has a heavy Midwestern flavor to it; also, their are six Big Ten teams competing.

Ohio State lineup

1 — Niki Schroeder | So. | 74.69 avg. (13 rounds)
2 — Jaclyn Lee | So. | 73.54 avg. (13 rounds)
3 — Zoe-Beth Brake | r-Sr. | 77.33 avg. (6 rounds)
4 — Katja Pogacar | Sr. | 74.09 avg. (11 rounds)
5 — Jessica Porvasnik | Sr. | 71.69 avg. (13 rounds)
IND — Rio Watanabe | r-Jr. | 74.89 avg. (9 rounds)

I like this lineup. Niki, Jaclyn and Zoe-Beth are coming in on a bit of an upswing; they’ve lowered their stroke averages from their previous tournament. You’re likely to get good rounds from Jessica (ranked #26 in Golfweek Top-150) and Katja (#94).

 

Recap

The team ended Day 1 in 4th place with a score of 582 (+6) after 36 holes. The Buckeyes stalled in the round, shooting a 295 (+7) to place them in 10th position. A lights out second round (287 (-1) moved them up the leaderboard pretty quickly. The second round score was the best team score in the 2nd round. The first two rounds were marked by stretches of good scoring and not-so-good scoring. It’s golf… Hopefully, the “good scoring” 2nd round creates momentum for Monday’s final round.

The Buckeyes were led by  Jessica Porvasnik 144 (E)  and Jaclyn Lee 145 (+1). Niki Schroeder 147 (+3), Katja Pogacar 149 (+5) and  Zoe-Beth Brake 150 (+6) rounded out the team scoring.

Competing as an individual, Rio Watanabe shot a steady 148 (+4).

Jessica

Jessica’s even par day (144) has had her T-11 place in the 76 player field. That’s pretty good. Jessica had her first two rounds pretty much under control; in her 36 holes, she combined for 6 birdies, 6 bogeys and a lot of pars. In fact, she was the only Buckeye (team lineup) not to have a double or triple bogey. Obviously, both of Jessica’s rounds counted towards the team score.

Jaclyn

Jaclyn put together two very good rounds. In fact, she had 34 holes of excellent golf, going 4 under par for those holes. She stumbled on two holes with a double bogey and a triple bogey. Still, her 7 birdies tied her for 2nd on the team. Her first day score placed her T-16 in the 76 player field. Both of Jaclyn’s rounds counted towards the team score.Jaclyn had a very good day..

Niki

Niki was slow to get her game started. She began her day with a double bogey, stabilized with six consecutive pars and ended her front 9 at +4, not that great. However, 3 birdies (!) on her back 9 turned her round around. The second round was a mirror image  the front nine was very well played (-3) and the back nine drifted a bit (+3). Niki’s 7 birdies was T-2nd on the team. Both of her rounds contributed to the team score, so this was a good first day for Niki.

Katja

Katja had a rough 1st round (76), but responded with a very well played afternoon round (73) which counted towards the team score. Despite carding 6 birdies, a double bogey and a triple bogey stalled her day. Katja may have found her “sweet spot” on the course, holes #8 – #15. In this 8 hole stretch, she’s played it -5 to par on Day 1. I bet she can’t wait for round 3.

 

Zoe-Beth

Zoe-Beth had an interesting day. Beginning her 1st round on the 2nd hole, she was -3 through 8 holes. She then went +4 over the next 5 holes. She held on and her 1st round 73 contributed to the team score. Zoe-Beth led the Buckeyes with 8 birdies. That’s an astounding number for 36 holes. The problem was her 16 pars were by far the fewest on the team. It was feast in the morning round, famine in the afternoon round.

 

 

Rio

Although Rio shot two rounds of 74 (+2), she went about them in a completely different manner.In her 1st round, Rio had 4 birdies, 6 bogeys and a smattering of pars (8). In the 2nd round, pretty much every hole was a par – 14 of them – along with 3 bogeys and 1 birdie. Rio joined Jessica as the Ohio State players not to incur a double/triple bogey.

Buckeye Scores

Westbrook Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 295 287 0 582
Niki Schroeder 75 72 0 147
Jaclyn Lee 74 71 0 145
Zoe-Beth Brake 73 77 0 150
Katja Pogacar 76 73 0 149
Jessica Porvasnik 73 71
Rio Watanabe (I) 74 0 0 74
7 -1 0

Comments

Note: the scoring stats in the following two paragraphs are for team play only. Individual play scores are not included. Through the first two rounds:

Ohio State played the par 3’s to an average of 3.08 strokes, +3 to par, which ranked them 1st in that category. They played the par-4’s to 4.13, +13 to par, ranking middle of pack 7th. The par-5’s were played to 4.97, -1 to par, ranking them T-4th. They scored well on the “scoring” holes – par 3s & par 5s. That’s exactly what they needed to do.

Ohio State carded up 34 birdies, ranking them 1st (excellent!). They scored 107 pars, ranking 11th (meh).

As impressive as their  ability to “go low” was by recording a tournament leading 34 birdies, Ohio State hurt itself at the other end with double and triple bogeys. The Buckeyes had 4 double bogeys and three triple bogeys. They offset birdies pretty quickly. For comparison, Illinois, 2 strokes better than OSU, also had 4 double bogeys but no triple bogeys. Clean up the mess and Ohio State is a position, maybe two, higher.

On to the final round! I’ll have final round recap later today or Tuesday. Please stop back.

Go Buckeyes!