(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Dept. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
The Buckeyes are in Baltimore, MD this weekend for the Big Ten Championships. The host course is the Baltimore Country Club. This is a three day (54 holes) event with a fourteen team field. Round 1 is Friday morning, followed by round 2 on Saturday, April 29th and the final round, Sunday, the 30th.
The East Course is set up at 7,181 yards long and plays to a par of 70. That is moderate length course, but at par 70, it’ll be a still challenge. There aren’t a lot of trees to contend with, but there is sand. A lot of sand. There are a lot of bunkers, placed in tee shot landing zones and bracketing the greens. Accuracy will be important. The course was designed by noted architect, A.W. Tillinghast. Golf Magazine has ranked the Baltimore Country Club as one of Tillinghast’s best ten course designs.
This is the familiar “play 5, count 4” format.
The 14 team field, alphabetically and if ranked, their Golfstat Top-60 ranking, below.
#9 Illinois, Indiana, #57 Iowa, Maryland, #56 Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, #32 Northwestern, #60 Ohio State, #50 Penn State, #38 Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin
1-Will Grimmer | So. | 72.41 avg. (27 rounds)
2-Daniel Wetterich | So. | 72.67 avg. (27 rounds)
3-Jeg Coughlin III | Fr. | 73.53 avg. (17 rounds)
4-Clark Engle | Sr. | 74.38 avg. (21 rounds)
5-Caleb Ramirez | So. | 74.38 avg. (20 rounds)
The Youth Movement continues, but is somewhat seasoned by the inclusion of Clark Engle in the lineup. After Clark’s strong showing at the Kepler last week, I’m not surprised.
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
Ohio State began its round on the back nine, played the opening nine fairly well and their back nine even better. Their team score of 283 (+3) had them in 2nd place, one stroke better than Purdue and two strokes better than Northwestern.
The Buckeyes were led by Will Grimmer and Caleb Ramirez, each shooting 69 (-1). Daniel Wetterich shot a 72 (+2) and Clark Engle a 73 (+3). Jeg Coughlin III shot a 74 (+4) round round out Ohio State scoring.
Will had a thrill of a stretch on his opening nine holes. He played holes #12-#17 in; birdie-birdie-bogey-bogey-birdie-birdie. Six consecutive holes without a par. Fortunately, most of these scores were below par. His back nine was a bit more sedate with 8 pars and 1 bogey. Will sits T-4th position of 70 golfers.
Caleb cruised through his first 5 holes in even par. He double bogeyed his 6th hole, then went birdie-birdie; he’s still even par. Through 12 holes, Caleb was +1, then scored three consecutive birdies. A par-bogey-par finish got him in the clubhouse under par. If you are counting, that’s 5 birdies for Caleb. My goodness… Caleb also sits in T-4th position.
Daniel cruised through his opening nine hole at +1 to par; so far, so good. On is back nine he bogeyed #2 and #3, but finished his closing six holes in -1 to par. Daniel had 14 pars on the day, so he was in good shape for 4+ hours. Daniel is in T-23rd place.
Clark opened his round with a birdie on #10. (That’s always a good way to begin a round). He tripped a bit with a double bogey on the long, 458 yd par-4 17th hole. Still, making the turn at +1 is good tournament golf. Clark had a back nine +2 to wrap a a good morning. His par-par finish over his last two holes were a nice team stabilizer. Clark is in T-28th place.
Jeg Coughlin III
Jeg had a front nine stretch similar to Will’s; he had a stretch of 6 holes with only one par. He managed to get through holes #10-#15 at +1, so good play, there. Jeg made the turn in pretty good shape still at +1. A mix of 4 pars, 4 bogeys and a birdie got Jeg off the course +4 for the day. Jeg is T-39th spot.
|Big Ten||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3|
|Jeg Coughlin III||74||0||0|
We Have Stats
The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.20, +4 to par, ranking them 3rd. That’s pretty good. They played the par-4s to 4.10, +6 to par, ranking them 3rd. That’s even better. They played the par-5s to 4.70, -3 to par, ranking them T-3rd. That’s still pretty good.
Ohio State had 55 pars, ranking them 3rd. Their 15 birdies ranked them T-2nd.
The Buckeyes cleaned up the “double-bogey ogre” substantially and it was reflected in their scoring. This was just a superb round of team golf. The encouraging thing is that, if you track the scores, hole by hole, all five golfers had “tournament” rounds going; no one shot their way out of being able to contribute to the team score. This had to have been very satisfying to the players as well as the coaches.
I think that right now, Ohio State is in good position to maintain their 2nd place standing. First place team, Illinois, is at -11 to par, 14 strokes clear of the Buckeyes. I’m not sure they can close that gap. They just need to play well enough that they don’t get caught from behind. If they can do that, who knows what may happen?
Enjoy your crab cakes tonight, gentlemen. You’ve earned them.
Round 2 of the Big Ten Championships is tomorrow. Please stop by.