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

The Buckeyes are in southwest Ohio (Maineville to be specific) at the TPC River’s Bend (to be more specific) for the Big Ten Championships. This is a three day, three round event scheduled for Friday through Sunday, April 20-22.

The Course

The course is set up at 6,357 yards long and played to a par of 72.

The Format

This week it’s  “play 6, count 4” format. This was the same format as last week’s Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.

The Field

All fourteen Conference teams are taking the course. Here’s the field and their Golfstat Top-25 rankings:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, No. 12 Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, No. 13 Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, No. 22 Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

The Buckeyes

  1. Jaclyn Lee | Jr.
  2. Niki Schroeder | Jr.
  3. Adeena Shears | So.
  4. Alex Wright | So.
  5. Rio Watanabe | Sr.
  6. Alanis Sakuma | Fr.

This was the lineup for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.

That’s the set-up. How’d it go?

Recap:

The opening round went well, very well. Led by Jaclyn Lee’s opening round medalist score of 66 (-6), Ohio State ended the round in 3rd place. Their team score of 289 (+1) is one stroke behind Maryland and six strokes behind leader Michigan State. The Buckeyes had a strong front nine with a team score of -1 to par. They were pretty much in neutral on the back nine until the closing hole, a 477 yard par-5. The four players who ended up contributing to the team score played the final hole in an aggregate -4 to par. That’s quite a finish.

Jaclyn Lee led the first day efforts with an incredible 66 (-6). Rio Watanabe’s 72 (E) and Alex Wright’s 73 (+1) were solid efforts. Alanis Sakuma had a 78(+6) to round out the team scoring. Niki Schroeder’s 79 (+7) and Adeena Shears’ 82 (+10) completed Buckeye play for the day.

After the opening round, Jaclyn is in 1st place among the 83 player field. Rio is t-12th, Alex is T-19th, Alanis is T-58th, Niki is T-63rd and Adeena is T-73rd.

Buckeye Scores

B1G Championships Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total To Par
Team 289 0 0 289 1
Jaclyn Lee 66 0 0 66 -6
Niki Schroeder 79 0 0 79 7
Adeena Shears 82 0 0 82 10
Alex Wright 73 0 0 73 1
Rio Watanabe 72 0 0 72 0
Alanis Sakuma 78 0 0 78 6
1 0 0 1

Jaclyn
Jaclyn’s opening round was incredible. She opened with three pars before birdieing the par-4 4th hole. She carded three more pars before an eagle on the par-5 8th hole. A par on #9 got her to the turn at 33 (-3). On her back nine, Jaclyn birdied two of her first four holes and was -5 through 16 holes. A bogey on #17 (the 5th toughest hole to par in the round) bumped her to -4 before a closing eagle on the par-5 18th gave her a back nine of 33 (-3) and a round of 66 (-6). Jaclyn had 2 eagles and 3 birdies in her round.

Rio
Rio held the team steady on the front nine with eight pars and a birdie on #6 to make the turn at 35 (-1). Six pars and two bogeys had Rio at +1 on her back nine, but a closing birdie on #10 gave her a back nine of 37 (+1) and a very solid round of 72 (E). Rio had 2 birdies in her round.

Alex
Alex was +2 after three holes, then got her front nine under control by finishing the next six holes in -1 to make the turn at 37 (+1). She opened her back nine with a birdie n #10 and closed it with a birdie on #18 for a nine of 36 (E) and a well played round of 73 (+1).

Alanis 
Alanis was even par though five holes on her front nine, then made the turn with a nicely played 37 (+2). On her back nine, she was even par through #13, before speed-bumping the next four holes in +4. A closing par gave her a nine of 40 (+4) and a round of 78 (+6). Alanis had 1 birdie in her round.

Niki
Niki had a tale of two nines on Friday. Her front nine was a bit ragged with four bogeys and a double bogey to make the turn at 42 (+6). Niki get get back to form on the back nine wit 2 birdies for a nine of 37 (+1) and a round of 79 (+7). Niki had 3 birdies in her round.

Adeena
Adeena’s front nine was a bit like Niki’s; five bogeys and a double got her to the turn at 43 (+7). Four bogeys and a birdie on her back side gave her a nine of 39 (+3) and a round of 82 9+10). Adeena had 1 birdie in her round.

 

Stats & Stuff

The six Buckeyes had 51 pars (ranking them T-7th), 12 birdies (T-7th)and 2 eagles (T-1st). (thank you, Jaclyn).

The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.35, +7 to par (T-10th). They played the par-4s to 4.28, +14 to par (T-7th). They played the par-5s to 4.55, -9 to par (T-1st). They were not too bad on the par-3s and par-4s and really good on the par-5s.

Below is a frequency table of how the Buckeyes scored, such as number of birdies, number of pars, etc…

Round Eagle Birdie Par Bogey 2X 3X
1 2 13 62 27 4 0
2 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 2 13 62 27 4 0

This was a well managed round. Aside from the two eagles, which I’ll address later, the Buckeyes put themselves in a good position in this Championship by really limiting the “high number” holes.


Comments

This was a good, but trying day for the Buckeyes. Aside from a couple players struggling on their front nines, the team played very solid golf.

A couple things of note for specific players that stuck out to me.

  • They closed fast on hole #18. Jaclyn (eagle), Rio (birdie), Alex (birdie) and Alanis (par) got the team 4 strokes and moved them up several spots on the leaderboard.
  • Jaclyn had a surreal day. Her 3 birdies led Ohio State (along with Niki’s 3 birdies) and her 2 eagles were more than any other team. In fact, only two other teams, Northwestern and Illinois) recorded an eagle.
  • I’m heartened to see that, despite their front nine struggles, Niki and Adeena put together solid back nines. When you’re in an “every stroke counts” event, they stayed with it.
  • Despite a late round stumble, Alanis made a clutch par on the 18th hole to help maintain team scoring momentum to close out the day.
  • On a day with the average score of 76, Rio (72) and Alex (73) were much better tha average when the team needed them.
  • In something you don’t see every day; Jaclyn played the par-5s (3.75) better than she played the par-4s (3.90).

Up Next

Round two is set for Saturday. The Buckeyes are scheduled to tee off at 11:18 am ET. They are paired with Michigan State and Maryland. Please stop back.

Go Buckeyes!