(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat and uwbadgers.com)
The East & West Match Play Challenge. The #3 seed Ohio State lost a tough 3-2 match to #2 seed Iowa State on Monday. Their reward? A Tuesday match against #1 seed Oregon. These are a couple of tough draws. How’d Tuesday’s match go?
The day went well, very well for Ohio State. The #3 seed Buckeyes flipped the script to edge the top seeded Ducks of Oregon, 3 – 2. The The Ohio State match winners were: Alex Wright, Jaclyn Lee and Niki Schroeder.
Buckeyes who won their matches were Jaclyn Lee and Alex Wright.
Brief matches recap, below.
Amanda Shears led off for Ohio State but continued with her match play struggles losing her match 6 & 4.
Amanda was in decent shape at the turn, being 2-down after 9 holes. Unfortunately, she lost the next three holes, even though she was only +1 during that stretch. A bogey on the par-4 14th closed out the match.
Alex Wright was in the #2 spot and evened the day with a 2 & 1 win. Through four holes the match stood at All Square.
For the next three hours or so, Alex’s lead fluctuated between 1-up and 2-up. Sitting dormie-2, Alex won when she and her opponent matched pars on the 17th hole. Although this was a very closely played match, Alex never trailed at any point.
Rio Watanabe was next up for Ohio State and lost her match 3 & 2. Rio was 1-up after 3 holes, but fell to 1-down after 6 holes and was 2-down at the turn.
Rio lost holes #11 and #12 to a birdie and a par (yeesh!) to drop to 4-down and that was pretty much her day. She was 3-down with 3 to go, but matching pars on #16 with her opponent ended the match.
Niki Schroeder again batted cleanup for Ohio State. In a back and forth match, Niki squared her match on hole #11 and held a 2-up lead until her opponent birdied the final two holes to bring the match to All Square.
Off to sudden death holes! The 19th hole was halved, then minutes later, Niki won the 20th hole and the match. Although there was an on-course match behind her (Jaclyn Lee vs Alexis Phadungmartvorakul), since this match went extra holes, it was the deciding 3rd point of the 3-2 win.
Jaclyn Lee rounded out the match play for the Buckeyes with a 1-up win for OSU’s second point. Jaclyn was in a tough match, never actually holding the lead until the 13th hole. Until that point, she had trailed in 9 holes and 3 were All Square. She grabbed the lead with a par on the par-4 13th. Jaclyn was 1-up through 17, then closed out the match with a par on the 18th hole.
In Individual play, Sofia Seldemirova won her match 2-up. The match fluctuated between All Square and Sofia 1-up through 12 holes. She won the 13th hole with a par 4, went 2-up through 16 holes, then halved the 17th hole with par to claim the 2-up win.
I think this was a good start to the season for Ohio State. Some observations:
- Jaclyn Lee was co-medalist and Alex Wright T-13 place. Two top-14 of 48 participants is a good showing.
- Speaking of Jaclyn and Alex, they won both of their matches in the match play portion.
- Freshman Sofia Seldemirova, playing as an Individual had a good week. She opened stroke play with a 75, and although struggle in the 2nd round of stroke play, won both of her matches once the match play portion began.
- Niki Schroeder showed good composure in the Oregon match to win in extra holes. Witnessing her opponent birdie the last two holes in regulation to force a playoff can be a bit off-putting.
Ohio State’s next tournament is October 2-3 in Chicago, I for the Windy City Collegiate.