The Buckeyes have every reason to smile.

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

The Event

The Columbus Region 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. Here is the 2nd round recap.

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, it wasn’t too bad (6th best round of the day) and Ohio State did exactly what they needed to do for the day; finish in the top 6 to advance to the NCAA’s. Their final round score of 302 gave them a three day total of 893 and earned them 4th place.

The Buckeyes were led by Katja Pogacar 70 (-2) and Rio Watanabe 74 (+2). Jaclyn Lee 79 (+7) and Niki Schroeder 79 (+7) completed the team scoring.  Jessica Porvasnik 80 (+8) rounded out the Buckeye scoring.

We Have Stats

Through the three rounds, Ohio State played the par 3’s to an average of 3.35 strokes, +21 to par, which ranked them 12th in that category. In contrast, they played the par-4’s to 4.23, +35 to par, ranking them T-1st. The par 5’s were played to an average of 4.88, -7 to par, ranking them 2nd.

Ohio State had 48 pars on the day, giving them 165 through two rounds, ranking them 2nd in this metric. Their 11 birdies on the round gave them 32 through two rounds, ranking them T-5th. Their lone eagle (Rio) placed them T-2nd.

Let’s see how the players did:

Jaclyn

Jaclyn had a little bit of everything going on Wednesday. She had 2 birdies, 2 double bogeys, a handful of bogeys and almost two handfuls of pars.She did par #18 to bring her score in at 79. Jaclyn finished T-13.

Jessica

Let’s just say tha Jessica didn’t have her best form this week. Her final round 80 on her home course was probably not in her plans. I’m not going to worry about it too much about this; if anything, this should motivate her in the NCAA’s. Jessica finished T-56th.

Katja

Katja provided the needed “score” for the Buckeyes on Wednesday. Katja replicated her 1st day effort with 5 birdies but only 3 bogeys for her final round of 70 (-2). She went back-to back twice, with birdies on #3 – #4 and on #11 – #12. Katja also threw in a birdie of # 14 – just because she could. Katja finished T-5th place.

Niki

Niki struggled to get anything going on Wednesday’s front nine (+5), but responded with a solid back nine (+2) enroute to her 79. On Tuesday, she had 1 hole that was over par. Today she had 1 hole that was under par; the difference a day makes. That’s kind of the way golf goes… Niki finished T-30th place.

Rio

Rio had a solid enough front nine (+2) with 1 birdie and 2 bogeys. She teed off at the par-5 12th holes at +3. That didn’t last for long; Rio played the next three holes in birdie-par-eagle to get back to even par for the day. She turned into the clubhouse with bogeys on two of her last four holes, and her 74 provided a nice ‘anchor’ score for Ohio State. Rio finished T-13th.

Buckeye scores:

NCAA Regional Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 302 289 302 893
Jaclyn Lee 73 72 79 224
Jessica Porvasnik 77 77 80 234
Katja Pogacar 74 75 70 219
Niki Schroeder 78 71 79 228
Rio Watanabe 79 71 74 224
14 1 14 29

 

A Few Takeaways

This was a ‘good enough’ round of golf for Ohio State. They had an okay 1st round, an excellent 2nd round and played well enough in their 3rd round to comfortably advance to the NCAA Championships. Which, after all, is the point of the Regional, so; well done, Buckeyes.

Three of Ohio State’s five players shot 79-80; two players shot par or below. Fortunately, their outstanding 2nd round performance gave them ample cushion to absorb higher scores and still qualify. In fact, there was no doubt about them advancing on to the NCAA’s.

Fantastic Finish (non-Ohio State)

 If you recall, the top 6 teams advance to the NCAA Championships. Colorado had finished their round and sat in T-6th with Michigan. The last player on the course for Michigan was Elodie Van Dievoet, who needed to birdie the 368 yard, par-4 18th to avoid going into tiebreaker process. Elodie did indeed birdie the 18th hole to move Michigan into sole possession of 6th place.
Drama like that almost brought tears to my eyes; I’m sure it brought tears to Colorado’s eyes.

Big Ten-ish

The Big Ten Conference will be well represented at the NCAA Championships. Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan advance from the Columbus, OH Regional and Northwestern and Michigan State advance from the Athens, GA Regional.

Up Next

The NCAA Championships in Sugar Grove, IL. The event is scheduled from Friday, May 19 – Tuesday May 23.

Go Buckeyes!