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

The Buckeyes are in Stillwater, OK for the NCAA Championships. Here is link to previous articles regarding tournament set up and results of first two rounds.

Before I get into the third round commentary, I want to mention that Sunday was Rio Watanabe’s final collegiate round. I have thoroughly enjoyed recounting Rio’s exploits and triumphs in her years at Ohio State. Good luck Sunday. And, forever…

On to round three…

Recap:

The Buckeyes saved their best for last on Sunday’s round. Their team score of 298 (+10) gave them a three round total of 926 (+62) which put them in 23rd place. Fortunately, Jaclyn Lee’s sterling performance 66 (-6) moved her into T-3rd place; well positioned for Monday’s Individual round.

After not playing particularly well in round two, this round three performance had to have been encouraging to the team. I think this was a good teaching/learning experience in a couple different ways.

First, the coaches can use this performance to point out what their potential is on this stage. If their first two rounds would have been like Sunday’s, Ohio State would have been on the brink of qualification for Elite 8 match play. Second, the ladies laced up their spikes and focused on their games. It could have been easy to be mentally on an airplane back to Columbus, but there was still business to attend to.

Jaclyn Lee led the Buckeyes with a round of 66 (-6). Alex Wright had a fine 75 (+3), Adeena Shears a solid 78 (+6) and Niki Schroeder a 79 (+7) to account for team scoring. Rio Watanabe rounded out Buckeye play with an 82 (+10). 

For the three rounds,  Jaclyn is finished T-3. She’s in great shape for Monday’s round.  Alex finished T-109th, Rio T-121st, Niki T-123rd and Adeena 128th.

Buckeye Scores

NCAA Championships Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total To Par
23 Team 310 318 298 926 62
T3 Jaclyn Lee 72 72 66 210 -6
T109 Alex Wright 76 85 75 236 20
T121 Rio Watanabe 80 81 82 243 27
T123 Niki Schroeder 82 83 79 244 28
128 Adeena Shears 87 82 78 247 31
Team To Par 22 30 10 62

 

Ohio State began play on hole #10.

Jaclyn
Jaclyn was absolutely flawless on Sunday. She began her round with a birdie and holed 3 others to get to the turn a 32 (-4).  Jaclyn opened her back nine with three consecutive pars, then went back-to-back birdies on #4 and #5. Four consecutive pars gave her a nine of 34 (-2) and a round of 66 (-6). Jaclyn had 6 birdies in her round. She had no bogeys. None.

Niki
Niki slow rolled her round and was +2 through three holes. She played her next four holes in -1, thanks to a birdie on the par-3 15th hole. An 8 on the par-4 17th (water down the entire left side – you can surmise what happened) stalled her round, but a birdie on the next hole got her to the turn at 40 (+4). Two bogeys to open her back nine were followed by 5 consecutive pars and a nine of 39 (+3) and a round of 79 (+7). Niki had 2 birdies in her round.

Alex
Alex was absolutely flawless on her opening nine holes. After opening with 5 consecutive pars, she birdied #15 – #16 to get to -2. Two closing pars got Alex to the turn at 34 (-2). Her ship was adrift a bit on her back nine with 5 bogeys in her first 6 holes. Fortunately, she closed with 3 pars for a nine of 41 (+5) and a round of 75 (+3). Alex had 2 birdies in her round.

Adeena
Adeena had her best round of the tourney on Sunday. She opened with three consecutive pars. Through eight holes, she was + 3 and a birdie on #18 got her to the turn at 38 (+2).  A mixture of 5 pars and 4 bogeys on her back nine gave her a 40 (+4) and a round of 78 (+6). After not having her “A” game earlier, it’s encouraging to see Adeena get her game back on Sunday. Adeena had 1 birdie on her round.

Rio
Rio opened with a birdie on her second hole (hole #11) and got her final collegiate round off to a fast start. However, a few bogeys and a double got her to the turn at 40 (+4). Still, not bad. She opened her back nine with two pars, but a four hole stretch played in +5 followed. Rio played the next three holes in +1 for a nine of 42 (+6) and a round of 82 (+10). Rio had 1 birdie on her round.

 

Stats & Stuff

Ohio State finished the event with 31 birdies and 146 pars. That’s 62% of their holes in par or better. Ohio State had a significant improvement in scoring on Sunday:

Score average  Ohio State  Field

Round 1                  79.40      77.12

Round 2                  80.60      75.66

Round 3                  76.00      75.05

Total                        78.70      75.94

As you can see, OSU took a swing the wrong way in scoring, compared to the field in Saturday’s round. Conversely, they had an even more pronounced improvement in scoring, compared to the field on Sunday.

On Sunday, the Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average of 3.00, level par. For the tournament, they played the par-3s to 3.20, +12 to par. On Sunday, they played the par-4s to an average of 4.38, +19 to par. For the tournament, they averaged 4.57, +85 to par. On Sunday, they played the par-5s to 5.05, +1 to par. For the event, they averaged 5.05 strokes, +3 to par.

One thing of note: the Buckeyes brought their par-4 scoring down from an average of 4.74 (round 1) to 4.58 (round 2) to 4.38 (round 3). That’s a pretty significant cumulative improvement. Nice job.

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 0 13 47 19 7 4
2 0 6 48 27 6 3
3 0 12 51 24 2 1
Total 0 31 146 70 15 8

Clearly the difference between Sunday’s round and the opening two rounds is quality of play. The number of birdies were at a level of their opening round, but the number of 2X/3X holes were significantly lower. That is saving a lot of strokes.

 

Up Next

That does it for team play in the NCAA’s. However, Jaclyn will continue play Monday to compete for Individual honors.

Go Buckeyes!