Ohio State returns to action after a month hiatus, 10 golfers travel to spring break event
COUMBUS, Ohio – After a month away from tournament action, the Ohio State men’s golf team will return to play at the FAU Spring Break Championship, March 26-28 in Delray Beach, Fla. The 54-hole event will take place on the par 71, 6,722-yard Championship Legends Course at Gleneagles Country Club with tee times starting at 11:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
Name: FAU Spring Break Championship
Course: Gleneagles Country Club-Championship Legends Course (par 71, 6,722 yards)
The Field (16 Teams, Golfweek rankings):
Florida Gulf Coast
St. Mary’s (Calif.)
Friday, March 26 – 11:30 a.m. tee times (18 holes)
Saturday, March 27 – 11:30 a.m. tee times (18 holes)
Sunday, March 28 – 7:30 a.m. tee times (18 holes)
FOR THOSE SCORING AT HOME
Live scoring for the FAU Spring Break Championship will be available at www.golfstat.com. Links to the tournament are available on the men’s golf schedule page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
THE BUCKEYE FIVE
Head coach Donnie Darr is taking a slightly different approach to determine the team lineup for this tournament. Instead of choosing Ohio State’s five participants before making the trip to Florida, the team will send 10 golfers to Delray Beach. Each golfer will play a qualifying round prior to the start of the tournament and the top five will comprise the team lineup for the Buckeyes. The remaining five golfers will compete in the event as individuals.
A trio of juniors in Bo Hoag, Brad Smith and Michael Cress will be attempting to make their third-consecutive team start of the spring schedule along with senior Brad Wright and freshman Matt Turner. Also attempting to make the team lineup will be senior Patrick Simard, sophomores Alex Redfield and Dan Charen, redshirt-freshman Jamie Sindelar and freshman Zack Sobel.
Hoag is the only Ohio State golfer to compete in every event of the 2009-10 season.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
The FAU Spring Break Tournament will feature a multitude of talent from the Big Ten as seven of the 16 teams hail from the conference. The Buckeyes will also take on teams representing the Sunbelt, Mid-American, Atlantic Sun, Big East, West Coast Conference and Ohio Valley Conference.
Out of the 16-team field, Ohio State has already played against Michigan, Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, Penn State and Wisconsin in stroke play this season. The Buckeyes also matched up against Michigan and Iowa in the Big Ten Match Play Championship. The Scarlet and Gray fell to the Wolverines and halved their match against Iowa in the first event of the spring campaign.
The forecast for Delray Beach, Fla., features temperatures in the upper-70s for all three days of the tournament with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms Friday and Saturday and partly cloudy skies on Sunday. Despite the slight chance of rain, weather.com has Friday and Saturday tabbed as “very good” on the golf index while Sunday is ranked as “excellent”.
HOW IT ALL WORKS
Hosted by Florida Atlantic, the lone representative of the Sunbelt Conference, the FAU Spring Break Tournament will feature 18 holes of golf on three-consecutive days with each round beginning with tee times. Friday and Saturday will begin at 11:30 a.m. while the final round on Sunday will start at 7:30 a.m.
Scoring for the event is count the lowest four scores out of a team’s five golfers for each round.
LAST TIME WE WERE HERE
Ohio State finished fifth at the 2009 FAU Spring Break Championship with Bo Hoag leading the way with his third-consecutive top 10 finish in a tie for fourth. He fired scores of 68-72-72 for a total of 1-under 212. In all, four Buckeyes placed in the top 25. Brad Wright, Brad Smith, Michael Cress and Patrick Simard, along with Hoag, return to the tournament this year.
GRASPING THE GREENS
Designed by golf course architect Karl Litten, the Legends Golf Course at Gleneagles Country Club measures in at 6,750 yards with a slope of 137 and a USGA rating of 72.6. Both the front and back nine offer many opportunities for trouble for novice and professional golfer alike, with many of the greens being flanked by bunkers and ominous water hazards throughout.
PUERTO RICO RECAP
The Buckeyes last event came nearly a month ago when they took part in the Puerto Rico Classic, Feb. 21-23 in Rio Grande, P.R. The Scarlet and Gray finished tied for 13th place in a 15-team field that included 10 teams that were ranked in the top 50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. Ohio State had a 54-hole score of 876 (+12).
Ohio State was led by an even-par performance from Bo Hoag. The junior from Upper Arlington, Ohio fired a 3-under 69 in the second round en route to a 216 for the tournament. Junior Brad Smith tied for 39th with a 2-over and had a 68 in round two as well. The pair of juniors fired the second and third rounds in the 60s for the Buckeyes this season.
Senior Brad Wright was 9-over 225 to tie for 59th place. Junior Michael Cress and freshman Matt Turner finished knotted up in 63rd place at 11-over 227.
A LOOK AHEAD
Ohio State has already competed in two events so far this spring and still has a total of four remaining before the Big Ten Championship April 30-May 2. The highlight of the spring will come in two weeks when the Buckeyes will host their annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate April 10-11. The tournament will take place on the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club, which was tabbed as the top college course in the country last fall.
Ohio State took fifth place at the 2009 Kepler Intercollegiate and was led by the effort of then-junior Brad Wright. He finished the event at 2-under par en route to medalist honors, becoming the first Buckeye to claim the top prize since Matt Minister took first place in 1996.
The first half of the Buckeyes schedule brought solid play and some surprising finishes for a team that had a different lineup for each of its four tournament starts. Only junior Bo Hoag played in each tournament and two of those four starts resulted in top 10 finishes for the 2009 Honorable Mention All-American from Upper Arlington, Ohio.
The strongest finish for Ohio State came at the Fighting Irish Gridiron where the Buckeyes were runners-up in the 15-team field. The best individual Buckeye finish of the fall came at the event and was led by posted by Dan Charen. The sophomore tallied the best three rounds of his career at 70-74-70 en route to a runner-up finish in his first collegiate tournament.
Another bright spot came from freshman Matthew Turner. In the first event of his collegiate career, the Dubai native led the Buckeyes to a sixth-place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate.
Following his performance at the 2010 Big Ten Match Play Championship, freshman Zack Sobel was named to the All-Tournament Team for the event. In just the second team event of his career as a Buckeye, the Clearwater, Fla., native posted a 3-0-1 mark while helping Ohio State finish 2-1-1 in the second-annual event held Feb. 12-13 at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla.
The Buckeyes opened the event with a convincing 5-1 win against Michigan State before halving their match against Iowa 3-3. The Hawkeyes took the tiebreaker and the Buckeyes faced off against Michigan in the consolation bracket during the second day of play. Ohio State fell 3.5-2.5 against their foes from the north, but ended the event on a high note as they defeated Indiana with a 5-1 mark.
HOAG PLAYS IN ALL-AMERICA CLASSIC
Junior Bo Hoag concluded the 35th edition of the prominent Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic tied for 15th at 1-over, Nov. 24 in El Paso, Texas. The 2009 Honorable Mention All-America selection from Upper Arlington, Ohio, had rounds of 69-69-76. The annual event featuring the returning All-America honorees from the previous season was held on the par 71, 6,842-yard El Paso Country Club. Before the tournament began, Hoag won the nine-hole PING Putting contest.
SCARLET ATOP THE COLLEGE RANKS
In a poll of more than 160 college golf coaches by GolfChannel.com, The Ohio State University Golf Club was voted the top college golf course. The poll, released Nov. 17, listed the top 10 college courses and, along with Ohio State, included fellow Big Ten institutions Purdue (No. 4) and Wisconsin (No. 9).
The Ohio State University Golf Club first opened in 1938 and was designed by famed architect Dr. Alister McKenzie. Under the direction of Buckeye legend and golf great Jack Nicklaus it underwent a major renovation in 2005 and reopened in the spring of 2006.
A NEW ERA
For the first time in 37 years, Ohio State has a new head coach at the reigns in Donnie Darr. He was named coach of the Buckeyes June 13 following a national search and returned to his home state after serving as assistant coach at national powerhouse Oklahoma State the three previous seasons. A 1996 Kent State graduate, Darr began his coaching career at his alma mater. He was the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s golf teams in 2001-02, and was promoted to associate head coach of both programs from 2002-04. Darr also served as assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma during the 2004-05 season and was head coach at the University of Akron in 2005-06.
In July, Darr added Chris Yoder as his assistant coach. Yoder came to the Buckeyes after six years at his alma mater, Wake Forest. A native of Ashland, Ohio, he assisted under legendary coach Jerry Haas and during his time with the Demon Deacons, he helped haul in some of the most talented recruits in the country, coaching three future PGA Tour players in Bill Haas, Kyle Reifers and Webb Simpson.
Ohio State travels to Kannapolis, N.C., to play in the Irish Creek Collegiate April 3-4.