(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
The Buckeyes have been busy preparing for the NCAA Regional event held this week (Monday through Wednesday) at Ohio State’s Scarlet course. The top six teams and top three individuals will advance to the NCAA Championships.
It is a 54-hole event with 18 holes scheduled for each day. The players will tee off (sequentially) from holes #1 and #10.
The OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course will be set up to a length of 6,416 yards and play to par 72. The course is set up about 100 yards longer than it was for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational last month. The Buckeyes tied for 3rd in that event, by the way.
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 5, count 4” format. Ordinarily, this gives a team some wiggle room in the scoring, but this is a high-stakes qualifier; a NCAA berth is at stake, so the margin for error is slim. Additionally, several players from non-qualifying teams were invited to participate as an Individual.
The 18 team field, as you’d expect, is loaded. The teams are listed , by seed, with their Golfstat national ranking in parenthesis.
Florida (4), Florida State (5), South Carolina (12), Arkansas (13), Colorado (20), Texas A&M (21), Purdue (27), Ohio State (29), Michigan (33), San Jose State (37), Houston (44), Louisville (46), Wisconsin (52), Kentucky (54), Old Dominion (62), Delaware (116), Missouri State (168), Cleveland State (214)
Below are the Individual participants (school):
Loy Hee Ying (East Tennessee State), Camila Serrano (Florida International), Michaela Fletcher (Memphis), Emma Albrecht (Notre Dame), Kate Smith (Nebraska), Emie Peronnin (Minnesota)
The Buckeyes will tee it up with:
1 – Jaclyn Lee | So. | 73.21 avg. (28 rounds)
2 – Jessica Porvasnik | Sr. | 73.93 avg. (28 rounds)
3 – Katja Pogacar | Sr. | 74.04 avg. (26 rounds)
4 – Niki Schroeder | So. | 74.46 avg. (28 rounds)
5 – Rio Watanabe | r-Jr. | 74.92 avg. (24 rounds)
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
Actually fairly well. The Buckeyes finished the day at 302 (+14), in T-3rd with Purdue. Now, remember, Ohio State doesn’t need to win this qualifier; they just need to place as one of the top six teams when play concludes on Wednesday. So, let’s keep things in context. They are currently five strokes in front of 5th place South Carolina.
They had a great front nine, then got mugged on the back nine. They were +1 at the turn and in first place at the turn by 3 strokes. On the back nine, they were +12 and 6 strokes off the pace.
The Buckeyes were led by Jaclyn Lee 73 (+1) and Katja Pogacar 74 (+2). Jessica Porvasnik 77 (+5) and Niki Schroeder 78 (+6) wrapped up the team scoring. Rio Watanabe 79 (+7) rounded out the scoring.
We Have Stats
Ohio State has played the par 3’s to an average of 3.35 strokes, +7 to par, which ranked them 10th in that category. In the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, OSU finished last in par-3 scoring; clearly there is an opportunity for improvement. In contrast, they played the par-4’s to 4.30, +15 to par, ranking them 2nd. The par 5’s were played to an average of 4.95, -1 to par, ranking them 3rd.
Ohio State carded 47 pars, ranking them 9th in this metric. Their 13 birdies ranked them 1st in that measure.
Let’s see how the players did:
Jaclyn was cruising along with a well played front nine (+1) until she double bogeyed the par-4 11th hole to bump her to +3. She did close out her final 7 holes with 2 birdies to finish the day at 73. The 11th hole trapped a lot of golfers; for the day, it was the most difficult hole to par on the course.
Jessica began her round birdie-birdie; so, if you extrapolate that out over 18 holes… However, she was +5 over her next eight holes, so you don’t want to extrapolate that stretch. After birdieing #12, Jessica finished her final six holes by alternating bogey-par to end her day with a 77.
Katja had an interesting round. Through nine holes, she was -2 and at one point, tied for the lead in the 96 player field. Then, the back nine happened. Katja was holding at -2 through 13 holes, but failed to register a par over her closing 5 holes, finishing +4 over that stretch. Still, she sits in T-7th place with her 74, so Katja’s round was still well played.
Niki had a pretty decent front nine of +2, but managed to shoot a +4 on her back nine to come in at 78. Through 14 holes she was in good shape at +3, then struggled a bit to close out her round.
Rio began her round with eight consecutive pars, a great start in an event like this. However, she bogeyed 7 of her next 10 holes to finish with a 79. She was the only Buckeye to not have a birdie. She also did not have a score higher than bogey, so her game was just not quite as sharp as it usually is.
|NCAA Championship||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Rd 3||Total|
A Few Takeaways
- 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 were only three teams under par on the par-5s; Ohio State’s -1 looked good in the stats column.
- Welp, the par-3 scoring was awful. They played the par-3s on the front side well (+1), but got bludgeoned on the back nine (+6).
- Ohio State got out to a fast start, then stalled a bit coming down the last five holes. In my LBSI recap, I mentioned that in post-season play, OSU’s ability to close out rounds will be critical. It still holds true..
I think the Buckeyes are in pretty good shape at this point. It will help their situation if they can clean up their par-3 play. On to the 2nd round!
Round two of the NCAA Regionals.