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Feb. 5, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s golf program and head coach Therese Hesssion are set to host the 21st Annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Feb. 7-9) to open the 2016 Spring season. Sixteen of the country’s best teams will convene at the Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., for the 21st running of the elite tournament.

Eleven of the 16 schools competing are ranked inside the Golfstat Top-25, including five top-10 squads and the country’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 slotted teams.

TOURNAMENT TIDBITS
Name: Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge
Live Scoring: Golfstat
Course: Palos Verdes Golf Club (Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Yardage: 6,017 yards — Par 71
Format: Play 5, count 4
Schedule of Play:
Rounds 1-2 (Feb. 7-8) | Tee times off of #1 & #10 starting at 9 a.m. PT (Noon ET)
Final Round (Feb. 9) | Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. PT (11:30 a.m. ET)
Field (16 teams):
*Golfstat Top-25 national rankings listed
#11 Alabama
#9 Arizona
#13 Arizona State
Baylor
#2 Duke
#12 Florida
#23 Michigan State
North Carolina
Ohio State
#10 Oklahoma State
Pepperdine
#3 UCLA
#21 UNLC
#1 USC
Wake Forest
#13 Washington

Tournament Information & History 

BUCKEYE LINEUP
1-Katja Pogacar — Jr. (73.50 avg)
2-Jessica Porvasnik — Jr. (75.00 avg)
3-Rio Watanabe — r-So. (74.08 avg)
4-Zoe-Beth Brake — r-Jr. (74.78 avg)
5-Jaclyn Lee — Fr. (75.00 avg)
Ind — Niki Schroeder — Fr. (74.33 avg)

WEATHER FORECAST
Nearly perfect playing conditions are expected throughout the event with sunny skies and highs in the low-to-mid 80s. A zero percent chance of rain is being predicted with winds remaining under 10 miles per hour.

PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS IN THE FIELD
Baylor arose victorious in last year’s edition of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and is back for more in 2016. Six previous event champions return in all, including UCLA with an all-time high four Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge titles.

LINEUP PILLARS
The top three Buckeyes in this week’s lineup were staples for Ohio State in the Fall season. Katja Pogacar, Jessica Porvasnik and Rio Watanabe were each members of the lineup for all four tournaments and combined to contribute to the team tally in 32 of a possible 36 rounds.

BUCKEYE ALUM RACHEL ROHANNA EARNS LPGA TOUR CARD FOR 2016
Ten members of the Symetra Tour earned their 2016 LPGA Tour cards in October, by finishing in the top-10 of the Symetra Tour’s Volvik Race for the Card money list. Ohio State alum Rachel Rohanna was able to do so and promptly made the cut last week in her LPGA Tour debut at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

FOUR ALL-BIG TEN PERFORMERS RETURN FOR CONFERENCE TITLE DEFENSE
Ohio State boasts four All-Big Ten performers in its arsenal for the 2016 campaign, including two-time all-conference selections Katja Pogacar and Jessica Porvasnik:
Zoe-Beth Brake — 2014 All-Big Ten First Team
Katja Pogacar — 2015 All-Big Ten First Team; 2014 Second Team
Jessica Porvasnik — 2014 All-Big Ten First Team (Big Ten Player of the Year); 2015 All-Big Ten Second Team
Rio Watanabe — 2015 All-Big Ten Second Team

SCHROEDER LEADS BUCKEYES TO TOP-FIVE FINISH AT MERCEDES-BENZ COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Freshman Niki Schroeder earned a share of 13th place individually at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship (Sept. 21-22). Three additional Buckeyes cracked the top-25 to lift Ohio State into fourth place in the team standings.

HALL OF FAME HESSION
Head coach Therese Hession, entering her 25th season, was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 18 as a Class of 2015 inductee member. The two-time National Coach of the Year has guided Ohio State to nine Big Ten titles and to the NCAA postseason 21 consecutive years since taking the reins in 1991. She steered the Buckeyes to a program-best fourth place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championships.

SCHROEDER COMPETES IN U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN
Freshman Niki Schroeder played in the LPGA’s oldest major championship, the U.S. Women’s Open, before officially arriving on campus for good. The 18-year-old qualified through local qualifying and utilized Buckeye teammate Jessica Porvasnik as her caddie for the event. Porvasnik competed in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. Despite missing the cut, Schroeder carded the lowest two-round score of her playing group, which included besting professional player Ayaka Matsumori by nine strokes.

NCAA WOMEN’S GOLF REGIONAL COMING TO COLUMBUS IN 2017
The Ohio State University has been selected as one of four host sties for the 2017 NCAA Women’s Golf Regionals. The three-day event will be played on the OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course from May 8-10, 2017 with six of 18 teams advancing to the NCAA Championships (May 19-24) at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.