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

The Buckeyes are left coasting it at the Stanford Golf Club this week, participating in the NCAA Regional Qualifier tournament, Stanford Region. This is a three day (54 holes) event with a thirteen team field. Round 1 is Monday morning, followed by round 2 on Tuesday, May 16th and the final round, Wednesday, May 17th.

The top five teams will advance to the NCAA Championships held the last week in May. Additionally, 10 Individuals (from teams not qualifying for the Regional) will participate this week, with the top Individual advancing to the NCAA Championships.

The Course

The Stanford Golf Course is set up at 6,727 yards long and plays to a par of 70. That is a bit shortish, but at par 70, it’ll be a still challenge. There are a lot a lot of trees to contend with and a substantial amount of bunkering around the greens. Accuracy off the tee be important to set up your position and precision with approach shots will be critical.

The Format

This is the familiar “play 5, count 4” format.

The Field

Thirteen teams and ten individuals will compete, below

The Teams

The 13 team field, listed by tournament seeding and if ranked, their Golfstat ranking, below.

1-Stanford (4)
2-Baylor (9)
3-Oklahoma (15)
4-Georgia Tech (21)
5-Pepperdine (27)
6-North Carolina (33)
7-North Florida (41)
8-BYU (46)
9-Houston (51)
10-Ohio State (58)
11-UC Santa Barbara (66)
12-Sacramento State (106)
13-South Dakota State (196)

 

The Individuals

1-Collin Morikawa, California
2-Hayden Shieh, Santa Clara
3-David Kim, UC Irvine
4-Justin Doeden, Minnesota
5-Andres Gonzalez, Long Beach State
6-Felix Mory, Cal State Northridge
7-Fidel Concepcion, Southern Utah
8-Grant Booth, Nevada
9-Brian Humphreys, Boise State

 

The Buckeyes

1-Will Grimmer | So. | 72.03 avg. (30 rounds)
2-Daniel Wetterich | So. | 72.57 avg. (30 rounds)
3-Jeg Coughlin III | Fr. | 73.70 avg. (20 rounds)
4-Caleb Ramirez | So. | 74.09 avg. (23 rounds)
5-Clark Engle | Sr. | 74.29 avg. (24 rounds)

Same lineup as B1G tourney

That’s the set-up. How’d it go?

Recap:

Ohio State began its round on the back nine, played the opening nine fairly well, even par. Their back nine was…well, it was not too good. Their team score of 288 (+8) had them in T-9th. The Buckeyes have their work cut out for them over the next two days to advance to the NCAA’s.

At about midpoint of this round, I thought that to advance as one of the top five qualifiers, a team would have to shoot even par. Mid-round, the Buckeyes were even par and in the top three teams.  At the end of the first round, 5th place Oklahoma is even par.  I still think that, to advance to the NCAA Championships, a team will have to shoot par or better.

The Buckeyes were led by Will Grimmer 70 (E) and Daniel Wetterich 71 (+1). Jeg Coughlin III 73 (+3) and Clark Engle 74 (+4) also contributed to the team score. Caleb Ramirez wrapped up Buckeye scoring with a 75 (+5).

Will Grimmer

Will had his game on autopilot on Monday. Or, at least it seemed that way. He had 2 birdies on his first nine holes (#10 – #18) to make the turn at -1 to par. He rang up 8 consecutive pars on his closing nine, then closed with a bogey. Again, par is your friend; Will had 14 pars on his card – he made a lot of friends. Will sits in T-17th position of 75 golfers.

Caleb Ramirez

Caleb was on fire his first 2 – 2 1/2 hours; through 10 holes, he was -3(!) to par. As Ohio State medalist at that point, e was leading the charge. Then, all hell broke loose over his closing eight holes. He played those holes in +8 to par. That’s … not very good at all. Over a stretch of +2 hours, he went from leading the Buckeyes in scoring to not counting towards team total. Yeesh. Caleb sits in T-53rd position.

Daniel Wetterich

Daniel made the turn at +2,  to par – so far, so good. A few minutes later, it got even better as he scored an eagle 3 on the par-5 1st hole. He played his closing 8 holes in +1 to walk off with his score of 71. Daniel is in T-27 place.

Clark Engle

Clark made the turn at #18 sitting at +2, so not too bad. He stayed that way through 13 holes. He played the next two holes in +3 and I thought, “well, Clark is just along for the ride at this point”. However, concurrently, Caleb was imploding two holes behind him. Fortunately, Clark played the last three holes in -1 to bring his round in at 74 and contribute to the team score. Clark is in T-47th place.

Jeg Coughlin III

Jeg had a birdie on is opening nine to help him make the turn at +1 – again, so far, so good for a Buckeye golfer at that point. He parred his next five holes, again making friends, then closed out his last four holes in +2 for his opening round of 73. Jeg is T-41st spot.

Buckeye Scores:

NCAA Regionals Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 288 0 0 288
Will Grimmer 70 0 0 70
Daniel Wetterich 71 0 0 71
Caleb Ramirez 75 0 0 75
Jeg Coughlin III 73 0 0 73
Clark Engle 74 0 0 74

 

We Have Stats

Ohio State had 58 pars, ranking them T-2nd. Their 9 birdies ranked them 12th. Their lone eagle (Daniel Wetterich) placed them with five other schools.

The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.20, +5 to par, ranking them 10th. In the B1G Championship, they also averaged 3.2, but ranked 3rd. It’s a different ball game now. They played the par-4s to 4.26, +13 to par, ranking them 10th.  They played the par-5s to 4.67, -5 to par, ranking them 8th.

Thoughts:

The Buckeyes just couldn’t get into red numbers (below par) on as many holes as they needed to, considering the number of bogeys they made.

The had a lot of pars (58) and a lot of bogeys (20). This tells me the Buckeyes are not far off the mark; it doesn’t take too much to turn pars into birdies and bogeys into pars. They are going to have to be patient in Tuesday’s round.

Right now, they are 8 strokes off the pace to qualify. They don’t need to make up the difference in tomorrow’s round; however, they will need to score in the mid-60’s in their final two rounds.  If they can do that, who knows what may happen?

I do want to give a ‘hat tip’ to Clark for hanging in there on his back nine and finishing strong. That extra stroke or two that he “saved” may be meaningful come Wednesday afternoon.

Up Next

Round 2 of the NCAA Regional qualifier is tomorrow. Please stop by. Ohio State tees off again beginning on hole #10, joined by UC Santa Barbara and Sacramento State. Same pairings and tee assignments as Monday.

Go Buckeyes!