(Photo and tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of Golfstat)
The Ohio State Men’s Golf (OSUMG) traveled to the Left Coast fr the Nike Collegiate Invitational. The event was played at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (Witch Hollow course) in North Plains, OR.
Course: The Witch Hollow course is set up at 6,997 yards and to a par of 71. The rating/slope is 74.7/139. At my course (70.2/113, 6.412 yd) with my Index of 10.9, I would be an 11 handicap. At Witch Hollow, I’d be a 13 and need every stroke.
Format: The familiar “play 5, count 4”.
Field: This is a 15 team field.
No. 3 Baylor, No. 15 Clemson, No. 7 Duke, Florida, No. 20 Georgia, Ohio State, No. 9 Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, No. 19 USC, No. 21 Stanford, TCU, No. 10 Texas, Vanderbilt, No. 4 Wake Forest
This is a very tough field. There are nine top-25 (coaches poll) teams in this field.
Ohio State lineup
1. Felix Kvarnstrom
2. Kevin Stone
3. Patrick Schmucking
4. Grant Engle
5. Jackson Chandler
The Buckeyes finished with rounds of 289-294-290 = 873 to finish in 15th place. I realize that comparative scores can be somewhat shaky because of differing course set-up, weather conditions, team makeup, etc, but this total is almost the same (872) as their score at Inverness last week.
The Buckeyes were led by Grant Engle’s 213 (E). Patrick Schmucking shot a 220 (+7), Felix Kvarnstrom a 223 (+10), Kevin Stone and Jackson Chandler shot 225 (+12).
Grant finished T-23rd in the 75 player field. Patrick was T-54th, Felix T-61st while Kevin and Jackson finished T-67th.
|Pos||Nike Collegiate||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total||To Par|
Note: For each round, Ohio State began play on hole #10.
Grant was extremely steady in this event. In his opening round, he had 16 pars. In his second round he scored 3 birdies and only one bogey. He had 4 bogeys and 3 birdies in his final round. Another way to look at this consistent play is this: his aggregate score on the front nine was +1. On the back nine it was -1.
Grant averaged 3.20 on the par-3s, 3.96 on the par-4s and 4.83 on the par-5s. He had 7 birdies and his 40 pars led the team and were 2nd in the field. He was the only Buckeye to finish under par on the par-4s, and par-5s for that matter.
Patrick had an interesting couple of days. In his opening round, he was +5 through 13 holes, then birdies 2 of his next 5 holes. Nice finish. The script was flipped in his second round; he was level par though 13 holes, then bogeyed 4 of his last 5 holes. In is final round, Patrick was +4 through 12 holes, then birdied 4 of his last 6 holes. Sehr gut, Herr Schmucking!
Patrick averaged 3.07 on the par-3s, 4.22 on the par-4s and 5.00 on the par-5s. He had 8 birdies (tie team high) and 31 pars.
Felix struggled to finish his nines in his opening round. He doubled #18, then bogeyed hole #9 to finish the round. Since his score was level par, he played pretty damned well in the other 16 holes. Round two was a bit flat with 11 pars and 5 bogeys – not much happening. His final round back nine had a bit of everything. He had 2 birdies, 3 pars, 2 bogeys and 2 double bogeys. That’s a fairly exciting +2 hours of golf.
Felix averaged 3.27 on the par-3s, 4.22 on the par-4s and 5.00 on the par-5s. He had 6 birdies and 35 pars.
Kevin was cruising on the front nine in his opening round until the SS Stone hit an iceberg on #18, a 545 yrd par-5. Hit to the tune of a quintuple 10. (I’ve done this a few times, there are quite a few ways do do something like that. Consider it a learning experience). He did get redemption on the 382-yard 8th hole with a hole-out-from-the fairway eagle! His second round was fairly uneventful, he just couldn’t get anything going. In his final round, Kevin was +1 at the turn. He birdied 3 of his opening holes to start his back nine to play it in -1. Certainly a flair for drama.
Kevin averaged 3.20 on the par-3s, 4.19 on the par-4s and 5.33 on the par-5s. He had 1 eagle, 7 birdies 32 pars.
Jackson had one of the more colorful scorecards (see below) on the team. He had a flurry of birdie-bogey activity midway through his opening round to finish +1. In his 2nd round, he was +2 through five holes. Jackson closed out the nine with an eagle and 2 birdies to make the turn at -2. He was -2 through 13 holes, but two doubles pushed his round to +3. In his final round, he birdied 2 of 3 closing holes to make the turn at level par. Then the back nine happened – 2 bogeys, 3 doubles and 4 pars. A grueling two hours…
Jackson averaged 3.07 on the par-3s, 4.37 on the par-4s and 5.08 on the par-5s. He had 1 eagle, 8 birdies and 28 pars.
Stats & Stuff
Oho State played the par-3s to 3.16 (+12) to place T-12th in that category. They played the par-4s in 4.19 (+26) to place 15th and the par-5s in 5.05 (+3) to place 14th in that category.
Their 2 eagles (Kevin, Jackson) were 4th in the field. Their 36 birdies were 15th overall and their 166 pars were 5th.
Here’s how the scoring broke out for Ohio State.
If you were expecting a finish much higher than this, you weren’t taking the strength-of-field into consideration. Except for maybe the NCAAs, this might be the toughest field the Buckeyes will face all year. A few items of note:
- The field averaged 71.83. Ohio State averaged 73.73, Two strokes isn’t much, but when you multiply it by five players over three rounds, it adds up.
- The Buckeyes finished +21 to par. In last year’s Nike Collegiate Invite, they finished +23. That’s consistent.
- Speaking of consistency, in his two events this Fall, Jackson Chandler has 37 holes of par-or-better in each tournament. That is consistent.
- The data points are scarce this season, but so far, Grant Engle and Kevin Stone are both averaging ~ 1 stroke better per round than last season. I look for this to improve as they get more rounds behind them.
Things are pretty much wrapping up for the season. Due to some personal business, I’m “ball in pocket” for the next two weeks. Hopefully we get some dry, temperate mid-October weather so I can get a couple more rounds in.
Although I dislike practicing, about a month ago I spent some time on the practice green working on various chip/pitch shots. Unsurprisingly, my best three rounds of the summer (78, 84, 83) followed. I mention this because a few year ago, in a conversation with OSUWG coach Therese Hession, I asked her what her focus was on at practices. She replied, “short game and game management”. Based on my anecdotal results, she appears to be right.
At about the time I was working on my short game, I needed to work on my iron play, which was a shambles. Rather than beat balls at the range, I left my woods in my car trunk and played nine holes with only my irons. I scored just as well (42) as with a full set of clubs and my iron play is back to where it used to be.
The Buckeyes will return to Columbus (Dublin), OH for the Jack Nicklaus Invitational held at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Dates are Monday October 7 – Tuesday October 8th.