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Ohio State heads to North Carolina for two-day tournament before hosting annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After only five days of rest following the FAU Spring Break Championship in Delray Beach, Fla., the Ohio State men’s golf team will hit the road again as they compete in the Irish Creek Collegiate, April 3-4 in Kannapolis, N.C. The 54-hole event will be co-hosted by Davidson, Charlotte and Belmont Abbey and will be played on the par 71, 7,099-yard Club at Irish Creek Golf Course.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name:
Irish Creek Collegiate
Course: The Club at Irish Creek (par 71, 7,099 yards)
The Field (13 Teams):
Belmont Abbey
Campbell
Charlotte
Davidson
Elon
Francis Marion
Kennesaw State
Marquette
Mercer
Miami University
Ohio State
Richmond
Toledo
Schedule:
Saturday, April 3 – 8:30 a.m. (36 holes, shotgun start)
Sunday, April 4 – 8:30 a.m. (18 holes, shotgun start)

FOR THOSE SCORING AT HOME
Live scoring will not be available for the Irish Creek Collegiate, but scores and daily recaps will be available at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
Following the top performances of their respective seasons at last week’s FAU Spring Break Championship, senior Brad Wright and freshman Zack Sobel will head the Buckeye’s lineup at Irish Creek. A trio of juniors in Brad Smith, Michael Cress, and Bo Hoag will each make their fourth-consecutive team start of the spring campaign. Freshman Johnny Henno will compete as an individual.

Hoag is the only Ohio State golfer to compete in every event of the 2009-10 season.

SCOUTING THE FIELD
The Irish Creek Collegiate will play host to a wide array of teams from across the country and a Division II opponent as well. Tournament co-host Belmont Abbey will be the lone Division II representative at the event, hailing from the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference. The Buckeyes will also take on teams from the Atlantic 10, Atlantic Sun, Big East, Mid-American and Southern Conference.

Out of the 13-team field Ohio State has already faced off against Marquette, defeating the Golden Eagles by 22 strokes at last week’s FAU Spring Break Championship. The Buckeyes also took on Francis Marion in the first tournament of the 2009-10 campaign at the Adams Cup of Newport and defeated the Patriots by 26 strokes. The Scarlet and Gray last saw Miami University during the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic where Ohio State bested the Redhawks by 27 strokes on their way to a runner-up finish.

The Buckeyes also competed against Charlotte at the Gifford Collegiate Championship at CordeValle and will play host to the 49ers at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate Tournament April 10-11.

WEATHER OUTLOOK
The forecast for Kannapolis, N.C., shows promising weather for the duration of the tournament as Saturday and Sunday will be highlighted by sunny skies and temperatures in the upper-70s. According to weather.com, the opening round Saturday has only a 20 percent chance of rain and a golf index ranking of “very good”, while Sunday is ranked as “excellent” with a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

HOW IT ALL WORKS
The event will be co-hosted by Belmont Abbey, Charlotte, and Davidson and will consist of 54-holes over two days of play. Saturday will open with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. and the first and second rounds will be played that day. The final round will begin Sunday also with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.

Scoring for the event is count the lowest four scores out of a team’s five golfers for each round.

GRASPING THE GREENS
With a number of open fairways and broad greens, The Club at Irish Creek is a Davis Love III course that was designed to challenge amateur and professional players alike. Set around a 400-acre lake that is visible from 16 of the 18 holes, The Club features a slope of 137 and course rating of 74.3 and is composed of Bermuda grass. The course features a number of hazards throughout the layout with the surrounding forest and lake constantly in play and bunkers filled with Spruce Pine, the same sand that can be found at August National Golf Course.

DID YOU KNOW?
The Club at Irish Creek is Davis Love III’s first course designed in the Charlotte area and has been dubbed as “the best work yet produced by Love Golf Design” by Golfweek architecture critic Brad Klein.

BACK FROM THE BREAK
Ohio State continued their spring campaign March 26-28 at the FAU Spring Break Championship in Delray Beach, Fla. The Scarlet and Gray struggled in the opening round, but finished strong on the final two days of play en route to a 10th place finish at 884 (+32).The Buckeyes sent a total of 10 players to Florida and senior Brad Wright recorded the top finish for Ohio State. The Cambridge, Ohio, native competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 13th place with a 2-over 215.

Close behind was junior Brad Smith who led the team effort at 3-over 216 and finished in a tie for 17th.  Freshman Zack Sobel continued to build momentum this spring. The rookie from Clearwater, Fla., tied Smith in 17th place with a score of 216. Junior Michael Cress closed out at 10-over 223 for the event and tied for 39th place while junior Bo Hoag and freshman Matt Turner struggled throughout the tournament, finishing in a tie for 80th at 21-over 234.

Four other individuals competed for Ohio State. Dan Charen tied for 45th as the sophomore carded an 11-over 224 and senior Patrick Simard tallied a 14-over 227 and finished alone in 63rd place. Sophomore Alex Redfield and redshirt freshman Jamie Sindelar tied for 84th as the duo each closed out with a 23-over 236.

A LOOK AHEAD
Ohio State has already competed in three events so far this spring and still has three remaining before the Big Ten Championship April 30-May 2. The highlight of the spring will come in one week as the Buckeyes 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 this past fall.

ZACK ATTACK
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.

Sobel continued to build on his solid start 2010 campaign at the FAU Spring Break Championship March 26-28 in Delray Beach, Fla. In the third event of his career, he paced the team effort at 3-over 216 as he finished in a tie with teammate Brad Smith in 17th place.

FALL BALL
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.

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.

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.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes host an 11-team field in Columbus at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, April 10-11 on Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club. Action begins each day at 8:30 a.m. and live scoring will be available on www.golfstat.com.