(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
( Ed: Note: due to holiday travel plans, this tournament will be covered in one article.)
The Buckeyes have been busy since he Clemson Invitational by preparing for their role as hot for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. The tournament will be played on OSU’s Scarlet course and will be held this weekend. It is a 54-hole event, with the first two rounds scheduled for Saturday (shotgun start) and the final round on Sunday (sequential from holes #1 and #10.
The OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course will be set up to a length of 6,319 yards and play to par 72.
This is a parkland course, set amidst trees, water and a few bunkers added for good measure. This is a tough layout to score well on; it has good length and with so many trees, you’d better be very accurate with your tee shots.
This is a “play 6, count 4” format. This gives teams a bit more wiggle room in the scoring, with the 6th player. Additionally, teams may enter a player to participate as an Individual. Ohio State will play two golfers as Individuals, thus getting the entire squad of 8 players on the course. This is a great move.
The 12 team field includes several ranked teams in the Golfstat Top-40 rankings. The contestants (alphabetically and Golfstat ranking) are:
#29 Illinois, Indiana, Indianapolis (No. 8 in D-II), #12 Kent State, #33 Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, #31 Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, #20 Texas, Toledo.
The Buckeyes will tee it up with:
1 — Jessica Porvasnik | Sr. | 72.91 avg. (22 rounds)
2 — Jaclyn Lee | So. | 73.18 avg. (22 rounds)
3 — Katja Pogacar | Sr. | 74.00 avg. (20 rounds)
4 — Niki Schroeder | So. | 74.45 avg. (22 rounds)
5 — Zoe-Beth Brake | r-Sr. | 76.07 avg. (15 rounds)
6 — Adeena Shears | Fr. | 77.75 avg. (4 rounds)
IND — Rio Watanabe | r-Jr. | 74.83 avg. (18 rounds)
IND — Alex Wright | Fr. | 77.46 avg. (13 rounds)
This is a good lineup; everyone gets on the course. Ohio State is host school, let’s have everyone tee it up in front of the home crowd. A great decision.
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
Well, actually pretty well. Their final round score of 304 (more on that later) gave them a final team score of 902 (+38) which moved them up two positions to finish in a T-3rd with Kent State. Normally, a score of 304 (+16) isn’t that hot, but on Sunday, it was torrid. In dicey playing conditions where the average team score was 318, the Buckeyes’ 304 looked pretty good. In fact, it was the third best round of the day.
For the tournament, the Buckeyes were led by Jaclyn Lee 222 (+6) and Katja Pogacar 223 (+9). Niki Schroeder shot a 227 (+13), Zoe-Beth Brake a 231 (+17), Jessica Porvasnik a 242 (+26) as did Adeena Shears 242 (+26) to round out team scoring.
Jaclyn Lee finished T-5 and Katja Pogacar finished T-10 in the 75 player field. Niki Schroeder finished T-17, Zoe-Beth Brake T-24, Jessica Porvasnik T-54 and Adeena Shears T-54.
Competing as an Individual, Rio Watanabe shot a 222 (+6) and Alex Wright a 243 (+27). Rio’s efforts earned her a T-5th place. Alex finished the event T-58th. That is an encouraging performance by Rio.
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 event, Ohio State has played the par 3’s to an average of 3.42 strokes, +25 to par, which ranked them 12th (last) in that category. In contrast, they played the par-4’s to 4.21, +32 to par, ranking them 1st! The par 5’s were played to an average of 5.13, +8 to par, ranking them 5th.
Ohio State carded 162 pars, ranking them T-3rd in this metric. Their 24 birdies ranked them T-5th and their lone eagle (Zoe-Beth) tied them with three other teams.
Let’s see how the players did:
Jessica’s Saturday round was a day of infamy. Yes, scores were high this weekend, but there is no way she’s happy with her results. She’s too good of a player to sit still for this. I’ve had days like that, too; sometimes the putts drop, sometimes they don’t. She’s been OSU’s low scorer this season for a reason; a couple sketchy rounds aren’t going to change the dynamics of her play. You just put it behind you and gear up for Big Championships.
Jaclyn is emerging as the go-to player on this team. She made a lot of pars, and when she did slip with a double bogey, she countered with several (5) birdies. She played very well on a tough course. A Top-5 finish attested to her strong play. She may be peaking at the right time.
Katja’s tournament was steady throughout all three rounds. The result was a top-10 finish. She had 17 pars on her first day and nothing worse than a bogey all weekend. Katja’s play was a steadying influence.
Niki managed her game to finish in T-17 for the weekend. Niki carded 5 birdies for the weekend, but, I think, more importantly, did not have a score higher than a bogey in 54 holes. She kept the ball in play and contributed to OSU’s team score all three rounds.
Zoe-Beth provided excitement in Saturday morning round with an eagle 3 on the par 5 14th as well as a birdie, a double bogey and a handful of bogeys. The afternoon round was pretty much the same, minus the eagle. So, opening with two rounds in mid-70’s isn’t too bad. She finished her third round with 5 consecutive pars, but unfortunately started it with 5 consecutive bogeys.
Adeena opened with a Saturday morning round of 78, actually not too bad, but really struggled in her closing 36 holes. I guess in the big picture of the tournament, it may not have hurt Ohio State that much, and I am guessing it was a valuable learning experience for Adeena.
Rio did smear her round a bit with a double bogey in each round, but; and I think this was significant; she recorded 39 pars over the weekend. That’s one hell of a lot of pars. Good for her. She had her smattering of birdies (7), but rather than ‘racking up’ bogeys, she ‘racked up’ pars. You can’t place in Top-5 like Rio did without controlling her game. A great weekend for Rio.
Alex struggled to get anything going all weekend. Her only two birdies came in Saturday’s afternoon round. She was actually playing pretty decently in rounds one and two, but Sunday’s round got completely away from her. Fortunately, it was good competitive exposure for the freshman, so I think that something was gained from it.
|Par 72||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
|Alex Wright (I)||84||80||84||248|
A Few Takeaways
- The par 3 scoring was not helpful. They played the par-3s on the front side fairly well, but were brutalized on the back nine. Poor play on these holes may have cost them the event. If not, it certainly didn’t help matters.
- The par 4 scoring was world class. If you’re going to score well on a series of holes, the par 4s are the ones to excel on. They picked up a lot of shots on the field on these holes.
- The par-5 scoring was solid. There was only one team under par on the par-5s; in fact the 2nd best team was +4 on these holes for the event. Ohio State’s +8 wasn’t that bad, and it certainly wasn’t the worse series of holes they played over the weekend (see par 3s).
- All the teams mumbled-stumbled around on Sunday, but once again Ohio State demonstrated good “closing speed” to play well vs the field. With post-season events coming up, the ability to close with solid final rounds will be even more important than they are now.
I think that Ohio State will get their games in sync for Saturday
The Buckeyes go to TPC River’s Bend in Cincinnati this weekend for the Big Ten Championships. The tournament will be held Friday, April 21 – Sunday, April 23. Please check in over the weekend.