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

Now, we get out of the winter doldrums. Collegiate golf starts and it’s starting with my favorite for of play – match play. The Ohio State Men’s Golf teed it up for the Big Ten Match Play Championship Friday and Saturday.

The Course

The course, Hammock Beach Resort (Palm Coast, FL) was set up at 7,183 yards long and played to a par of 72.

The Format

This is a “travel 8, play 6” match play format. Each school has a travel roster of up to eight players. The coaches will choose which six players will play in each of the four matches.

In terms of play, the matches will be six-on-six. Ohio State (#5 seed in East division) plays #3 Michigan in Friday’s morning round. In the afternoon round, Ohio State plays #4 Maryland. In Saturday’s morning round, Ohio State plays Iowa (#5 seed in West Division). Based on performance in the three rounds, all teams will be re-seeded and play an opponent from the other division.

The Field

The 14 team field consisted of:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin.

Here’s the tournament draw for the first three rounds.

The Buckeyes

The Buckeyes that made the trip to Palm Coast were: Josh Wick, Will Grimmer, Daniel Wetterich, Caleb Ramirez, Will Voetsch, Jeg Coughlin III, Caden Orewiler and Kevin Stone.

So, there’s the set-up. How’d it go?

Recap:

Morning Round vs Michigan

The morning round went exceedingly well, beating their Wolverine counterparts 5-1.

Winning their matches were: Daniel Wetterich 3&2, Will Grimmer 1-up, Caden Orewiler 2&1, Jeg Couglin III 4&3 and Josh Wick 4&2. Will Voetsch lost his match 4&2.

Josh Wick

Josh lost his match 5&3. Josh and his opponent were all square through 5 holes, then a series of bogeys by Josh put him in a tough situation. He managed to keep the match alive until losing three straight holes to close out the match.

Will Grimmer

Will lost his match 4&2. Will had a 1-up lead after 5 holes. The match was tied through seven holes. At that point, the match gradually began to slip away from Will, and he was closed out when, down 3 holes with 3 to play (that’s a very tough situation to be in), matching scores of 4 ending it. Will had simply run out of holes.

 

Daniel Wetterich

Daniel birdied four of his first seven holes (!) yet was only 1-up through 7 over Kyle Mueller. Daniel parred his next seven holes to Mueller’s 2 bogeys and was +3 with 4 to go. Mueller got back into the match with a par on the 15th hole, but Daniel closed out the match 3&2 wit a birdie on the 16th hole. In the 16 holes of play, Daniel was -4 to par.

Caleb Ramirez

Caleb did not play in this match.

Will Voetsch

Beginning on the 10th hole, the match didn’t start well for Will; he was 2-down after 2 holes. Will birdied the par-3 3rd hole (12th hole of the match) to pull to 1-down, but UM’s Brent Ito birdied 3 of the next 4 holes to close out the match 4&2. In the 16 hole holes of play, Will was even par.

Jeg Coughlin III

Jeg breezed to a fairly comfortable 4&3 win over UM’s Henry Spring. With the match beginning on the 11th hole, Jeg scored 3 birdies on his opening nine and held a 3-up lead at the turn. (I’ve been in that situation – 3-up after 9 is a damn nice feeling). Jeg maintained his lead through 15 holes and closed out the match with a par on the match’s 15th hole. In 15 holes of play, Jeg was -3 to par.

Caden Orwiler

In probably the most dramatic match of the day, Caden defeated UM’s Ian Kim, 2&1. Staring on the 9th hole, Kim took a substantial 3-up lead through five holes. Over the next seven hole stretch, Caden squared the match with six holes to play. On the 16th hole, Caden’s birdie gave him a 1-up lead with two to play. On the 17th hole of the match, Caden’s par beat Kim’s bogey and Caden chalked up a 2&1 win. In the 17 hole match, Caden was +3 to par.

 

Kevin Stone

Kevin did not play in this match.

 

Thoughts:

This was a good start to the Spring schedule. Anytime you can win a match, especially against UM, is time well spent. Overall, the team played quite well. Winning 5/6 matches speaks for itself, but all players but one (Caden)  scored par or better, but he won his match. After all, that’s the point.

Later today or tomorrow, I’ll have the Friday afternoon recap.

Go Buckeyes!