(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Dept. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
After a few weeks off, the Buckeyes head to northeast Georgia for the Linger Longer Invitational. This is a three round (54 holes) event with a fifteen team field. One round will be played Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. It is played on the Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Greensboro, GA.
This is a homecoming, of sorts, for Ohio State coach Jay Moseley, who, prior to coming to OSU, had a very successful coaching stint at nearby Kennesaw State University. In fact, KSU is a participant in this tournament.
The course, Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee is set up at 7,073 yards long and plays to a par of 72. The course designer was Jack Nicklaus. A lot of water and a lot of trees can come into play. You’d better hit the ball straight.
This is the typical “play 5, count 4” format. This gives teams a little wiggle room in the scoring, but not much. Additionally, nine teams will enter a player each to participate as an Individual.
The 15 team field includes 6 teams rated in the Golfstat Top-50 rankings. The contestants (alphabetically and Golfstat ranking) are:
Alabama, Augusta, #4 Baylor, Charlotte, #20 Georgia, #43 Kennesaw State, Maryland, Mercer, #37 Michigan, #45 Middle Tennessee State, Ohio State, Troy,
VCU, #8 Virginia
The Buckeyes tee it up with: Will Grimmer, Daniel Wetterich, Clark Engle, Caden Orewiler, and Jeg Coughlin III. Jack Mancinotti will participate as an Individual. Not coincidentally, Jack and Jeg had good showings a week ago a the Southern Intercollegiate event.
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
Ohio State opened with a team score of 290 (+2) to sit in 11th position. The team had a strong start; after three holes they were -6 and in 4th place. At the turn they were still in good shape at -2 and in 8th place. Things unraveled a bit coming down the home stretch, with the team playing the final three holes in +5.
Despite the tourney’s name, OSU’s ‘Young Guns’ didn’t do much lingering, they went into attack mode. Freshman Jeg Coughlin III’s score of 70 (-2) and sophomore Daniel Wetterich’s 71 (-1) led the Buckeyes. Senior Clark Engle carded a 72 (E) and freshman Caden Orweiler a 77 (+5) contributed to the team score. Sophomore Will Grimmer had a pretty grim round of 80 (+8). Competing as an Individual, RS Fr Jack Mancinotti shot a 73 (+1).
Will had nothing going for him on the front 9, shooting a +6 42. At that point, he was pretty much out of contributing to the team score. He stabilized his round with a solid +2 38 on the back nine, but by that point, he was just working on getting his game back up to his standards.
Daniel had an unbelievably good start to his round. Back to back birdies on holes #1-#2 and on #5-#6 set him at -4 through six holes. Two bogeys coming in moved his score to -2 on his front nine. His 2 birdie, 3 bogey back nine let Daniel walk off the course with a nice, sub-par round of 71. Young Mr. Wetterich led the Buckeyes with 6 birdies.
Clark started his round with 2 birdies; nothing to it… Three holes and two bogeys later, he’s back to even par after five holes; he’s still in pretty good shape. At that point, over the next 2 1/2-3 hours, Clark absolutely scorched the course. It began with 6 consecutive pars, then escalated to birdies in 3 of the next 4 holes to put him at -3 for the round. However, things got a bit dicey coming down the homestretch with a double bogey and a bogey on his final three holes. Still, a round with 5 birdies is damn good golf.
Caden’s round started fairly casually – 5 straight pars. He ran into a mid-round issue with 5 bogeys over 6 holes, then stabilized it with a birdie on the long (559 yd) par-5 12th. Things started to slip a bit on holes #14-#17 (3 bogeys), but Caden put an end to that nonsense with an eagle 3 on the par-5 18th. Other than for about an hour where the game wasn’t sharp, this was an impressive round.
Jeg Coughlin III
JC3 had an extraordinary round. He jump-started it going birdie-eagle on his first two holes. Over the next 16 holes he recorded another birdie, 2 bogeys and 13 pars. The number of pars is important; combined with his eagle and 2 birdies, it meant that Jeg played 16 holes in -4 to par. That is… impressive.
Beginning his round on the 10th hole, Jack continued his strong play from the previous week. He closed his front 9 with an eagle 3 to shoot -3 at the turn. After parring the first four holes, Jack ran into a rough stretch where he was +4 over four holes. He closed he round with a par to book his 73. That is good golf.
|Linger Longer||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
|Jeg Couglin III||70||0||0||70|
We Have Stats
The statistics are for team play only, no Individual scores are counted. Ohio State had 48 pars, ranking them 13th. They also scored 15 birdies, ranking them 12. They did record 2 eagles (Coughlin, Orewiler) to rank them T-1 in this category.
The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.35, +7 to par, ranking them 9th in the field. (The killer was the 223 yd 8th hole; 5 of OSU’s 7 strokes lost to par were on this hole. This hole was ranked the toughest vs par for the field). They played the par-4s to 4.18, +9 to par, ranking them 11th in this category. They played the par-5s to 4.70, -6 to par, ranking them 8th. Man, if not for the long holes…
If Ohio State can clean things up a bit in Monday’s round, they should be fine. On Sunday they had 22 bogeys, 2 double bogeys and 1 triple bogey. Those numbers offset a lot of hard work and good golf.
It’s a shame that Will had a tough round on Sunday; his score (80) was his worst of the season. This was really out of character, since Will leads the Buckeyes in scoring average (71.4). Not to worry though; going into this event, 7 of Will’s rounds have been under par and 5 of them have been in the 60’s. Will “The Thrill” will have this covered for tomorrow, you’ll see.
They started their round very strong, then lost a bit of their steam as the round progressed. They can play stretches of this course very well; the 2nd round will be a good time to regain their footing.
The 2nd round of the Linger Longer is Monday.