(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
(These young ladies in the photo, above, should be smiling – they had a good 2nd round)
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
A good bit better than their opening round. In fact, it was a pretty good round regardless of comparison. Their team score of 290 (+2), was an 8 stroke improvement over their opening round, and put them in a tie for 8th place with host Clemson (still), Tennessee and Louisville. This round was a vivid exercise in patience and game management.
In the first hour and a half (or so) of play, the Buckeyes were a steady +2 to par. Coming off the walkabout of yesterday’s back nine, this was welcome play. Ohio State wasn’t shooting themselves out of the tournament. Over the middle hour and half of play, they played well for the first three holes, then struggled over the next three holes. In the final hour and half of play, the Buckeyes were superb; they combined for -3 (1 bogey, 4 birdies) to edge up the leaderboard.
The Buckeyes were led by Katja Pogacar’s 71 (-1). Jessica Porvasnik’s 72 (E) and Jaclyn Lee’s 73 (E) kept things on an even keel. Zoe-Beth Brake’s 74 (+2). Niki Schroeder.
Competing as an Individual, Rio Watanabe scorched the course with a 71 (-1). After bogeying her opening hole (a dicey 398 yd par-4), she rolled in 2 birdies over the next six holes, then closed out her round with eleven consecutive pars. That’s really being on top of your game.
We Have Stats
Note: the scoring stats in the following two paragraphs are for team play only. Individual play scores are not included.
For the day, Ohio State has played the par 3’s to an average of 3.25 strokes, +8 to par. Through two rounds, they’ve played the par-3’s to 3.20, +8 to par, ranking them T-11. For the day, the Buckeyes were an astounding (to me) -1 to par on the par-4’s. That is just excellent play. Through two rounds, they’ve played the par-4’s to 4.11, +11 to par, ranking T-7. Ohio State played the par 5’s to +1 in the 2nd round; a good score, considering these par 5’s. Through two rounds, the par 5’s were played to an average of 5.03, +1 to par, ranking them T-8th.
Ohio State carded 64 pars which gave them 124 for both rounds, ranking them T-1st in this metric. This was a meaningful improvement. Their 11 birdies gave them a two round total of 19, ranking them T-6th in that measure, a significant improvement.
Let’s see how the players did:
Jessica cruised through this round with 2 birdies/2 bogeys/14 pars. This is back-to-back rounds where solid ball-striking kept her at, or below par. I’m guessing that golf is fun for Jessica this week. She dropped 4 spots to sit in T-8 place. Hard to believe that an even par round would cost you spots on the leaderboard. It’s a tough field.
Jaclyn got back on track from her opening round with a 3 birdie/3 bogey round of par 72. This is more like it. Jaclyn improved 19 spots to sit in T-43 place.
Katja’s golf has tracked Jaclyn’s fr the second consecutive day. She recorded 3 birdies / 2 bogeys in a very well played 71 (-1). I just knew that Friday’s round was an aberration for her. Katja improved 27 spots to sit in T-35 place.
Niki improved her play by 2 strokes over her opening round. Although she had a good front nine (+2), she ran into a tough stretch (+2) on holes #11 – #14. Niki did close her final four holes in -1, so hopefully she is back on track for the final round. Niki dropped down 3 spots to sit in T-65 place.
Zoe-Beth put together another solid round on Saturday. It appears she has the back nine under control; in two rounds, she is only +1 on the back nine. Zoe-Beth dropped down 20 spots to sit in T-43 place.
Rio opened with a bogey, then exerted her will on the course, playing the remaining 17 holes in -2. Her score of 71 matches her best round of the season. Rio moved up 20 spots to sit in T-31 place.
|Clemson Invitational||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
|Rio Watanabe (I)||76||71||0||147|
A Few Takeaways
- Despite the higher scores, I think the par-3 play was better than the opening round. In three of the four holes, the team aggregate was +1 to par, pretty good shooting. Today’s nemesis was the 166 yard 12th hole, which the Buckeyes played in +4 (four bogeys). Similarly to hole #16, this is an odd layout. The green axis is aligned almost 90 degrees to the tee box and it is heavily bunkered in front and back.
- The par 4 scoring was almost extremely good. I’ve found that par-4s are much tough to score, relative to par, than the par-3s and par-5s. To score that well indicates the ball striking, short game and putting were at a pretty high level.
- The par-5 scoring was solid for the second consecutive round. Nothing to see here; make par and move on.
- In the 1st round, Jaclyn and Katja uncharacteristically shot 77’s with neither of them having a birdie. I felt they would “roll in some birdies on Saturday”. Indeed they did; they combined for 6 birdies and a combined score of 143, an 11 stroke improvement from the opening round.
- Ohio State improved their all around scoring from the first round; more birdies (11 vs 8), more pars (64 vs 61) and fewer bogeys (16 vs 19). Most impressively was in double bogeys (0 vs 2). Eliminating the double bogeys preserved a lot of strokes.
I think that Ohio State will get their games in sync for Saturday – look for a move up the leaderboard. There are nine teams in front of them. I can see them jumping four teams Saturday.
Final round is Sunday. Ohio State is paired with Clemson and Houston. Scheduled tee times begin at 8:09 am ET. Please check back for tomorrow’s recap.