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Ohio State looks for another Top 4 finish in fall finale

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team travels to Stockton, Calif. for its final tournament of the fall season, competing in the Pacific Invitational, Nov. 5-7. The event, hosted by the University of the Pacific, will be held at the par 72, 6,720-yard Brookside Country Club. The Buckeyes have had an outstanding fall through their first three tournaments, finishing in the Top 4 at each event.

KEEPING TRACK
   Live scoring for the entire event is available through golfstat.com, with links to the site on the Ohio State men’s golf schedule at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: Pacific Invitational
Course: Brookside Country Club (Par 72, 6,720 yards)
Field: 14 teams Pacific, Brigham Young, Cal-State Northridge, Charlotte, Fresno State. Northern Colorado, Oregon, Rice, San Jose State, Ohio State, Marquette, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Kansas State
Schedule:
Monday, Nov. 5: 18 holes (8 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10)
Tuesday Nov. 6: 18 holes (8 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10)
Wednesday, Nov. 7: 18 holes (8 a.m. off No. 1 and No. 10)

THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
   The Buckeyes will take experience and youth with them to Stockton. Competing for Ohio State at the Pacific Invitational are senior co-captains Zach Sebert and Kyle Coconis, sophomore Patrick Simard and freshmen Bo Hoag and Brad Smith. This will be Smith’s first collegiate tournament.

THE COURSE AHEAD
   The Pacific Invitational is played at the picturesque Brookside Country Club in Stockton, Calif., in the San Joaquin Valley. Featuring outstanding conditions and views of Mt. Diablo, Brookside was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The link style championship golf course features numerous natural grasses, challenging bunkers and intimidating water hazards.

CONTINUED SUCCESS
   Ohio State has had one of their most successful fall seasons in recent memory. The Buckeyes opened up the fall slate in New Mexico and came away with a fourth-place finish at the William H. Tucker Invitational. Another fourth-place finish was tacked on to their resume at the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic. OSU followed with its best finish of the fall third place in Wilmington, N.C. at the Landfall Tradition. 
   Sophomore Patrick Simard and senior Kyle Coconis are averaging under 72 strokes per round. The Buckeyes also have already recorded six rounds in the 60’s this season.

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST
   Fifth-year senior Kyle Coconis has been one of the bright spots for the Ohio State men’s golf team this fall. After playing sparingly in his first four seasons on the squad, Coconis broke out this fall with a stroke average of 71.9 through the first three tournaments (nine rounds total). At the Landfall Tradition, he shot a second round of 68 on the way to a runner-up finish both career bests. In his other two tournaments, Coconis never finished lower than 19th, finishing in a tie for 15th at the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic and tied for 19th at the William H. Tucker Invitational.

START OF SOMETHING GOOD?
   Freshman Bo Hoag has placed in the Top 25 in two tournaments so far as a collegian. After capturing the team’s Jack Nicklaus Low Fall Qualifier award with a stroke average of 70.1, the native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, opened his collegiate career at the William H. Tucker Invitational (Sept. 14-15) with a first round of 67 and finished the event tied for ninth. The following tournament, the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic, Hoag finished tied to 25th.

ABOVE AVERAGE
   Four Buckeyes have a stroke average at 74 or lower for the fall. Patrick Simard and Kyle Coconis lead the way at 70.7 and 71.9, respectively. Following them are Zach Sebert at 73.4 and Bo Hoag with an even 74 average. All four of them also have rounds in the 60’s and their best finishes are no worse than 11th.

LEADING THE WAY
   Senior men’s golfers Zach Sebert and Kyle Coconis were named the Ohio State team captains for the 2007-08 season, head coach Jim Brown announced Oct. 3. It is the first captain honor for both Buckeyes. Sebert, from Grove City, Ohio, played in six tournaments in 2006-07 compiling a stroke average of 76.5. While playing this summer, Sebert won the Mid-Ohio Championship and qualified for the U.S. Amateur. Sebert, an NCAA Division III All-American at Otterbein, finished tied for 38th at the Coca-Cola Duke Golf Classic.
   Coconis, a fifth-year senior from Zanesville, Ohio, has not finished lower than 19th this fall. His best tournament came last week in Wilmington, N.C. where he shot a 68 in the second round and finished in second place. Likewise, Sebert has also seen success this fall. He carries a stroke average of 73.4 and an 11th place finish at the Landfall Tradition.

TEAMING UP
   The 2007-08 roster boasts two pairs of Ohio high school teammates that will continue to play together wearing Scarlet and Gray. Bo Hoag and Tanner Murphy both played for Upper Arlington High School and led it to the 2007 Ohio High School State Championship. The duo of Michael Cress and Evan Wood helped Dublin Jerome High School win state championships in 2004 and 2005. All four freshmen received all-state honors in their high school careers.

SUMMER SUCCESS
   Senior Zach Sebert turned in some stellar summer performances and is looking to carry that into the 2007-08 season. He fired rounds of 66-62 to win the Mid-Ohio Invitational in June. Along with the victory, Sebert broke the tournament scoring record by five stokes. In August, he also qualified for the 107th U.S. Amateur held in San Francisco. While he did not advance past stroke play, Sebert, who has played golf for just five years, achieved a major milestone in his young golfing career.

AT THE HELM
   Ohio State head coach Jim Brown is in his 35th season at the helm of the Buckeyes. Brown, a 1966 Ohio State graduate, has established his alma mater as one of the top programs in college golf. Under his guidance, the Buckeyes have won 17 Big Ten championships and made 30 NCAA appearances with 11 NCAA Top-10 finishes and an NCAA championship in 1979. Overall, Ohio State has won 157 tournaments under Brown and he has coached 51 All-America selections.

JOINING THE BUCKEYES
   Brad Sparling was named the Ohio State men’s golf associate head coach, Jim Brown announced Sept. 12. Sparling joined the Buckeyes after three years with the Duke golf teams, including the interim men’s golf head coach in 2007 when he guided them to 13th place at the NCAA championships. He was the associate head coach of the Blue Devils the season before that. Prior to his promotion to associate head coach in 2006, he served as the assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s golf teams.
   During Sparling’s time with the Blue Devils, the women’s team won two NCAA championships as well as two Atlantic Coast Conference championships and the men’s team won its first ACC championship since 1966. The men’s team also concluded two of its seasons ranked in the Top 10 nationally and finished tied for eighth at the NCAA championships in 2005 and 12th in 2006.

UP NEXT
   The Buckeyes will break from competition for three months until they open their spring season Feb. 25-26 when they compete in the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla.