(Team photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
I thought I’d use this photo of Caden Orewiler to head the article because he had a good opening round and his ‘scruff’ beard resembles mine. Fortunately, for Caden, his swing does not.
Ohio State headed to the Great Northwest for the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational October 1st – 3rd. The host club is the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, OR. This is a 15 team field with 54 holes played over two days.
The Witch Hollow Course of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club will be set up to a length of 7,015 yards and play to par 72. From these tees, the course is rated at 74.9 with a slope of 142. For comparison, the course I normally play is 6,412 yards long with a rating/slope of 69.3/119. My round last week was at 6,452 yards with rating/slope of 71.3/128. Witch Hollow is a good bit tougher.
The team format is a “play 5, count 4”.
The fifteen team field is:
Arizona, Clemson, Duke , Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Southern Cal, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington.
This is a very strong field. A lot of good golf will be played. This is Ohio State’s third event in three weeks. Fortunately, they’ve played well in their previous two starts, so might as well keep playing when you’re hot.
The Buckeyes teed it up with:
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
First Day Recap
After the 1st round, Ohio State was at 289 (+5) and a long way from the top of the leaderboard. The Buckeyes did not get off to a very good start. As it turned out, their 4 “scoring” players played the front nine in +6. Not good at all. However, the ‘scoring quartet played the back nine, which was their opening nine, thanks to a late birdie blizzard in -1. A good finish. Daniel, Caden, Caleb and Will V played the last three holes in a combined in -10 to par.
The Buckeyes were led by Caden Orewiler (above) and Will Voetsch with both shooting even par 71’s. Daniel Wetterich continued his good play with a 72 (+2) and Caleb Ramirez shot a 75 (+4). Will Grimmer was probably as shocked as you and I with a 77 (+6). Actually, I think that Will was pretty damn annoyed…
We Have Stats
In the opening round, Ohio State played the par 3’s to an average of 3.48 strokes, +12 to par. They played the par-4’s to 4.04, +2 to par. The par 5’s were played to an average of 4.85, -3 to par.
Frankly. the par-3 performance is surprising, since they aren’t that long. The holes range in yardage from 150 yards to 212 yards. All that’s needed is clean contact. In contrast, the par-4’s are brutal in length, ranging from 382 to 498 yards. Their par-4 play is damn impressive.
Ohio State had 47 pars and 17 birdies. Part of the issues with 1st round play is with 24 bogeys there wasn’t a crispness in play. Shots were just off and putts just didn’t drop. They had two double bogeys, so they really didn’t hurt them selves too much with “big” numbers.
The Buckeyes began their round on the back nine. Let’s see how they:
Will Grimmer didn’t do so well. His opening nine was 37 (+2) and things got worse heading to the clubhouse. His closing nine of 40 (+4) gave him a round of 77 (+5) and some angst.
Daniel finished his opening nine quite well with 2 birdies for a 34 (-1). He held at -1 through seven holes on his closing nine but finished with 2 bogeys for a 72 (+1).
Caleb birdied two of his last three holes on his front nine to make the turn t 36 (+1). He was still -1 through four holes on his back nine, then 3 consecutive bogeys pushed him to 75 (+4).
Will Voetsch was +2 through 6 holes (not good for Will, very good for me, for context) but finished his opening nine with 3 consecutive birdies. A 1 birdie, 2 bogey back nine finished his round at 71 (E).
Caden had a rough start at +3 through his first five holes. Like Will V, he finished his front nine with 3 consecutive birdies to make the turn at even par. A back nine of 1 birdie – 1 bogey closed out his round at a solid even par 71.
|Nike Collegiate||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total|
A Few Takeaways
This was a good front nine that couldn’t be sustained in the back nine. That’s okay, it happens. I’m encouraged that Orewiler, Voetsch and Wetterich had solid rounds. Grimmer had an uncharacteristically ‘meh’ round. Ramirez had an extended stretch of good play.
When Ohio State played the Nike in 2015 they finished 13 of 15. They are playing “to par” with the field, which is fine.
I’ll have Monday’s recap Tuesday and final round Wednesday. Please stop by.