(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)

The Event

NCAA Regional qualifier. Here is background and first round recap. It is a 54-hole event, with rounds scheduled for Monday – Wednesday, May 8 – 10. Groups tee off sequentially from holes #1 and #10.

The Course

The OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course will be set up to a length of 6,319 yards and play to par 72.

The Format

The team format is a “play 5, count 4”.

The Field

The Teams

The 18 team field, as you’d expect, is loaded. The top six teams advance to the NCAA Finals.

 

Individuals

Six golfers compete as individuals. The top three scores advance to the NCAA Finals.

 

The Buckeyes

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?

Recap

Well, extremely well. The Buckeyes shot a team score of 289 (+1) to bump them up into 2nd place. Their score was T-1st for best round of the day; an exceptional round of golf.  Remember, Ohio State doesn’t need to win this qualifier, just finish as one of the top six teams. More on that toward the end of the post.

The Buckeyes were led by Rio Watanabe and Niki Schroeder, who each shot a 71 (-1). Jaclyn Lee 72 (E) and Katja Pogacar 75 (+3) wrapped up the team scoring.  Jessica Porvasnik 77 (+5) rounded out the Buckeye scoring.

 

We Have Stats

Through two rounds, Ohio State has played the par 3’s to an average of 3.28 strokes, +11 to par, which ranked them 13th in that category. In contrast, they played the par-4’s to 4.19, +19 to par, ranking them 1st. The par 5’s were played to an average of 4.93, -3 to par, ranking them 1st.

Ohio State carded 70 pars (!) on the day, giving them 117 through two rounds, ranking them 1st in this metric. Their 8 birdies on the round gave them 21 through two rounds, ranking them T-2nd.

Let’s see how the players did:

Jaclyn

Jaclyn made it look fairly easy on Tuesday. A 3 birdie, 3 bogey day got her into the clubhouse at an even par 72. Her two round score of +1 gives Jaclyn a share of 2nd place among the 96 participants.

 

Jessica

Jessica had an interesting round enroute to her second consecutive 77. Yesterday, her round was peppered with birdies and bogeys. Today, she had no birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey on # 11. So, for 17 holes, Jessica was +2 to par. Other than a 15-20 minute stretch, she played solid golf.  At +10 through two rounds, Jessica is T-37th place.

 

Katja

Katja also had an interesting round. She also managed to get through her round in decent shape (75) without scoring a birdie. Three bogeys and 15 pars kept Katja, and Ohio State near the top of the leaderboard. Through two rounds, Katja (+5) is in &-14th place.

 

Niki

On Monday, Niki muddled around (for her) to a 78. (I’d love to muddle around to a 78, but I digress…). Niki took care of business with a good front nine of +1, then closed out her round in style with two birdies on the back nine, including a birdie on her finishing hole. Niki sits in T-14 place with Katja, and two other players.

Rio

Rio flipped her 1st and 2nd round play quite a bit. On Monday, she did not have a birdie and wandered around with six bogeys on her back nine. Her 2nd round was totally focused; through five holes, Rio was +1, then played her next 13 holes in -2 to par, including nine consecutive pars on the back nine.

Buckeye scores:

NCAA Regional Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 302 289 0 591
Jaclyn Lee 73 72 0 145
Jessica Porvasnik 77 77 0 154
Katja Pogacar 74 75 0 149
Niki Schroeder 78 71 0 149
Rio Watanabe 79 71 0 150

 

A Few Takeaways

This was an exceptional round of golf. They had a challenging draw, paired with #4 Florida and #5 Florida State. The Buckeyes outplayed both teams.

Ohio State is comfortably going to advance, unless several golfers twist ankles, lose club head covers or sign incorrect scorecards on Wednesday. The 6th place team (Purdue) sits at +31, 16 strokes behind Ohio State, there is  good bit of cushion. Their approach should be “middle of fairway, middle of green”. Nothing fancy, just be somewhat efficient and avoid catastrophes.

Tomorrow the play of Michigan, Purdue, Texas A&M and Arkansas should be interesting. While the top 3-4 teams will play ‘steady as she goes’, these teams have to take chances; try to cut doglegs, shoot for ‘sucker’ pins, etc., to pick up strokes. Yet, they have to be a bit measured in their play; they need to gain position, at least into 6th place, but they can’t blow up their rounds doing so. It should make for some entertaining golf.

 

 

Up Next

The Regional qualifier final round on Wednesday. Ohio State is again paired with Florida and Florida State. This should be fun. If you get a chance to swing by the Scarlet Course Wednesday, I encourage you to do so.