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Ohio State looks to secure trip to championship at 16th-consecutive regional appearance

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fourth-seeded and No. 23-ranked Ohio State women’s golf team begins NCAA tournament play this week, traveling to Stanford, Calif., to compete at the 2010 NCAA West Regional, May 6-8. Making their 16th-consecutive regional appearance, the Buckeyes will compete against 23 other teams on the par 71, 6,103-yard Stanford University Golf Course.

Ohio State begins the three-day, 54-hole tournament Thursday with tee times from 9:06-9:50 a.m. (PT) off the No. 10 tee. Play continues Friday with OSU tee times off the No. 1 tee between 1:26-2:11 p.m. Tee times for the final round on Saturday will be based on team standings after 36 holes.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: 2010 NCAA West Regional
Course: Stanford Golf Course, Stanford, Calif. (par 71, 6,103 yards)
Field: 24 teams (Golfweek/Sagarin rankings)
Alabama (6)
Arizona (3)
Arkansas (29)
California (12)
Colorado State
Idaho (55)
Iowa State (53)
LSU (19)
Maryland (56)
Ohio State (23)
Oral Roberts
Pennsylvania
Portland State
Stanford (17)
Texas (34)
Texas A&M (24)
Texas State
UC Davis (31)
UNLV (38)
San Jose State (40)
San Francisco (39)
UC Irvine (48)
UCLA (1)
Virginia (11)
Individuals:
Amy Anderson, North Dakota State
Teresa Puga, Minnesota
Ellen Mueller, Oklahoma
Schedule:
Thursday, May 6: 18 holes (OSU tee times from 9:06-9:50 a.m.)
Friday, May 7: 18 holes (OSU tee times from 1:26-2:11 p.m.)
Saturday, May 8: 18 holes (Tee times based on 36-hole scores)

KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the NCAA West Regional will be available at www.golfstat.com. Links to the tournament will also be on the women’s golf schedule page on OhioStateBuckeyes.com. 

THE LINE-UP
Buckeyes traveling to California include freshmen Amy Meier and Rachel Rohanna, sophomore Vicky Villanueva, junior In Hong Lim and senior captain Emma Jandel.

The regional tournament will mark the 11th outing of the season for Rohanna and Lim and the 10th for Meier, Villanueva and Jandel. All five Buckeyes recently competed at the Big Ten Championships, where the squad placed third, and Jandel, Lim and Villanueva represented Ohio State in the 2009 NCAA tournament.

HOW IT WORKS
Unlike their past two events, the Buckeyes will return to a 5-count-4 format when they contend for a slot at the NCAA Championships. After three days with 18 holes each, the top 8 teams and two individuals from each regional will earn a spot at the 2010 NCAA Championships, May 18-21, in Wilmington, N.C.

THE FIELD
Traveling to California for the second time this season, the Buckeyes will face some fierce competition in their hunt for a spot at the NCAA championship tournament. Ohio State is the fourth-seeded team behind No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Arizona.

In addition to No. 23 Ohio State, UCLA (1), Alabama (6), Arizona (3), Virginia (11), Stanford (17), LSU (19), California (12) and Texas A&M (24) are all ranked in the top 25 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The Buckeyes have faced 13 of the 24 West Regional squads already this season and have posted a winning record against UCLA, Virginia, LSU, California, Texas, Arkansas, UNLV, UC Irvine, Iowa State, Oral Roberts and Portland State.

BIG TEN IN THE NCAA
In addition to Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, Northwestern and Indiana will contend for slots at nationals. The four teams, along with Michigan’s Ashley Bauer, will compete at the NCAA Central Regional hosted by the Hoosiers in Columbus, Ind. Purdue is the third seed in the regional, while Michigan State is the fourth seed, Northwestern in the 13th and Indiana is the 20th.

Minnesota’s Teresa Puga also will be competing as an individual in the West Regional.

A YEAR AGO
The Buckeyes secured a slot at the 2009 NCAA Championships when they placed seventh at the 2009 Central Regional hosted on their own Scarlet Course in Columbus. Carding a total of 917, the Buckeyes earned their first trip to nationals since 2005.

Winning the regional by 19 strokes with a score of 877 was top-seeded UCLA. The Bruins also posted a medalist in Maria Jose Uribe who concluded the tournament at 4-under 212.

Leading the Buckeyes was then-sophomore In Hong Lim who fired a 229 total to tie for 20th. One stroke back from Lim was the duo of then-junior Emma Jandel and former Buckeye Gemma Webster who tied for 27th.

AROUND THE NCAA
This week, 72 teams and nine individuals will tee off in pursuit of a spot at the national championships. In addition to the West Regional in Stanford, Calif., teams will also compete at the East Regional in Greenville, N.C. and at the Central Regional in Columbus, Ind. All are vying for 24 team and six individual slots in the 2010 NCAA Championship field, held May 18-21, in Wilmington, N.C.

MAKING RANK
In the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings released April 25, the Buckeyes slipped into the No. 23 slot. With an overall record of 109-36-5, Ohio State is led by freshman Rachel Rohanna who is the 69th individual in the standings. Also in the top 100 is junior In Hong Lim who nabbed the 82nd spot. The ratings is a mathematical system which uses factors such as schedule strength, records, number of events played, power rating and schedule ranking to determine the position of each team.

The Buckeyes also received a top 25 ranking in the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches’ poll where they moved up three spots to 19th.

In the NCAA Head-to-Head scoring released by www.golfstat.com, Ohio State is the No. 12 squad. Also in the Golfstat rankings, the Buckeyes are in the top 25 of the Freshman Class Impact Rankings, while freshman Amy Meier was named to the Hole-In-One Club after her first career ace March 27 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS
Posting an overall record of 109-36-5, the Buckeyes are led in stroke average by freshman Rachel Rohanna with a 75.26 mark after 31 rounds of play. Also competing in all 31 rounds is In Hong Lim who is averaging 75.45 during her junior campaign. After 11 possible events, six of seven Buckeyes have stroke averages under 77.

WEATHER FORECAST
With highs in the low 70s and lows just dipping into the 40s, weather conditions for the NCAA West Regional appear to be ideal. Sunny skies are expected all three days of the tournament, and the weather.com golf index has awarded each day with an “excellent” rating.

A LOOK AT THE LINKS
Designed in 1930 by architects William Bell and George C. Thomas, the par 71, 6,103-yard Stanford University Golf Course is no stranger to competitive tournaments. In addition to the 2010 NCAA West Regional, the course has played host to the Stanford Invitational, the PAC-10 Championships, the women’s NCAA Championships, USGA Junior Amateur Qualifying and U.S. Open Qualifying.

BIG TEN BREAKDOWN
Playing through wind, rain and cold, the Buckeyes concluded the 2010 Big Ten Championships in third place April 23-25. Ohio State had a team score of 1,189 to finish just four strokes back from second-place Michigan State. Competing on the par 72, 6,224-yard University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., all six Buckeyes notched a slot in the top 30 of the league field.

Led by medalist Laura Gonzalez, seventh-ranked Purdue secured its third-consecutive league title. The Boilermakers totaled 6-over 1,158 to secure their slot atop the leaderboard by a 27-stroke margin. The race for second was a close one, but Michigan State was able to pull in front of the Buckeyes in the final round with a total of 1,185.

Leading the Buckeyes were sophomore Vicky Villanueva and junior In Hong Lim who each tied for 11th at 299. A few strokes back were freshmen Susana Benavides and Rachel Rohanna who tied for 14th and 16th, respectively. Also competing for the Buckeyes were senior captain Emma Jandel and freshman Amy Meier. Jandel tied for 26th at 305, while Meier finished tied for 30th at 307.

HONORS AND AWARDS
Following the Big Ten championship in Madison, Wis., the conference announced its All-Big Ten teams. Rachel Rohanna was selected to the First Team All-Big Ten, while Emma Jandel and In Hong Lim were named to the second team. It was a second All-Big Ten honor for the upperclassmen with Jandel earning a second-team nod in 2008 and Lim a first-team laurel in 2009.

Ohio State has produced 22 First Team All-Big Ten selections, six Big Ten Players of the year and six Big Ten Freshman of the Year awardwinners, including the 2009 rookie pick – Vicky Villanueva.

BACK-TO-BACK AT THE LADY BUCKEYE
Ohio State secured its first win of the season on their home course at their own Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, April 17-18. Although the skies were clear, conditions were gusty on the par 72, 6,275-yard Scarlet Course. The Buckeyes led the event for all but a few holes with rounds of 304-311-304 en route to their 919 total.

The win was not only Hession’s 37th victory at OSU, but the first back-to-back Lady Buckeye victories since taking four-straight titles between 1998 and ’01. Ohio State had not produced consecutive wins at the same tournament since winning the Big Ten crown each year from 2002-05.

It was a tough battle for second, with Michigan State jumping past Northwestern on the last 18 holes with a total of 933. The Spartans also found a medalist in Laura Kueny who snuck past Buckeye freshman Rachel Rohanna by a shot in the final holes. Just shy of her first college win, Rohanna finished in second at 228 en route to carding her second top 5 finish. 

Tying for fourth was the duo of junior In Hong Lim and senior captain Emma Jandel. Securing their highest finishes of the season, the pair each shot a total of 232. Remaining in the top 5 throughout the tournament, the finish was the highest of Jandel’s career.

Freshman Susana Benavides tied for sixth at 234, and also in the top 10 was fellow rookie Amy Meier who tied for 10th. Sophomore Vicky Villanueva tied for 17th at 238 and classmate Nara Shin, who competed as an individual, tied for 49th at 248.

SPRING FLING
After dusting off the cobwebs with an alumni match-up, the Buckeyes opened their spring slate at their own Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Feb. 8-10) in Palos Verdes, Calif. Teeing off at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club, the Buckeyes concluded the competitive tournament in third at 897 and bested some of the top-ranked teams in the country in UCLA, Arizona State and Duke. The Buckeyes were led by senior captain Emma Jandel who tied for 12th at 223 (+10).

From there, the Buckeyes traveled to Parrish, Fla., when they competed at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 22-23). They fired a team score of 898 at the par 72, 6,099-yard River Wilderness Golf Club to tie for fifth, just three stroke shy of fourth place Michigan State. Freshman Amy Meier and junior In Hong Lim led Ohio State with scores of 222 to tie for 14th.

Competing in the inaugural Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2), Ohio State secured another stellar finish as runner-up on the par 73, 6,265-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga. The Buckeyes were again led by Meier who tied for seventh at 222. 

The Buckeyes returned to Georgia when they competed at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic (March 24-26). Opening with a 315, Ohio State continued to improve each day with rounds of 311 and 305 to place 10th out of 22 teams. Lim led Ohio State in a tie for 26th. 

Playing on the par 72, 6,323-yard Players Course at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center in Greensboro, N.C., the Buckeyes concluded the Bryan National Collegiate tied for third (April 2-4). Ohio State fired a final round of 294 and totaled 886 to tie with the nationally-ranked squads from Duke and Vanderbilt. Freshman Rachel Rohanna and Lim led OSU in a tie for 14th at 221.

ACE IN THE HOLE
In just her rookie season, freshman Amy Meier has already fired one of the rarest shots in golf – the hole-in-one. Her first career ace came on the 150-yard, No. 16 hole during the second round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, March 27.

FRESHMEN FORCE
A key factor to the Buckeyes’ success this season has been the edition of freshmen Amy Meier, Susana Benavides and Rachel Rohanna. In their rookie seasons, the trio has each notched a top 10 finish.

Rohanna, a native of Waynesburg, Pa., currently leads the Buckeyes in stroke average with a 75.26. In just her second collegiate event, she concluded the Lady Northern Invitational in fourth. The tournament previewed the Big Ten course and field and Rohanna fired a 54-hole total of 218 (+2) after opening with a 2-under round of 70. She also led the Buckeyes at their own Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational where she was runner-up.

Meier, from Rochester Hills, Mich., has been the top Buckeye finisher in two outings this spring. Notching a 54-hole total of 222 at both events, Meier tied for 14th at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 22-23) and broke into the top 10 with a tie for seventh at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2).

Competing as an individual at the Mercedes-Benz Championship (Oct. 16-18), Benavides, a native of Cochabamba, Bolivia, tied for sixth at 218 (+2). She recently posted her best finish of the spring with a tie for sixth last weekend at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. 

BIG TEN GOLFER OF THE WEEK
For her performance at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge (March 1-2), freshman Amy Meier was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week by the conference March 3. It was the first weekly honor for a Buckeye this season. For the second-consecutive tournament, Meier was the top finisher for the Buckeyes in a tie for seventh at 3-over 222. Her finish helped Ohio State place runner-up in an 18-team field that featured 11 teams ranked in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.

After opening with a 79, the Rochester Hills, Mich., native fired a 70 in her second round to tie for the low round of the tournament. She had a span during round two where she birdied five of six holes. Meier secured her first career top 10 finish with a solid final round of even-par 73 that included four birdies to offset four bogies. The two-day, 54-hole event was held on the par 73, 6,265-yard Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga.

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN
At the conclusion of fall play, Ohio State elected senior Emma Jandel as its captain. The Dayton, Ohio, native served as a Buckeye co-captain for the previous two seasons. She has competed in 129 rounds during her Buckeye career and is the lone senior on the squad this season. At the Northrop Grumman, Jandel was the top finisher among the Buckeyes, tying for 12th in the competitive field.

At the recent Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational (April 17-18), Jandel had her highest career placement in a tie for fourth after rounds of 76-79-77 for a 232 total against cool temps and gusty winds.

BUCKEYES PAST AND PRESENT
After a three-month break from competition, Ohio State had the opportunity to dust off some of the cobwebs with an alumni match held Jan. 31. Competing for bragging rights in West Palm Beach, Fla., the team teed off against six LPGA Tour players, including talented alumni Allison Hanna, Meg Mallon and Lisa Strom from Ohio State.

The tournament, which consisted of six holes of best ball, alternative shot and regular play, went to the alumni, who bested the Buckeyes with a score of 8-4.

HESSION HONORED
Head coach Therese Hession was honored as the recipient of the 2010 Gladys Palmer Meritorious Service Award in December. The most prestigious award given by the National Golf Coaches Association, she received the award for her outstanding service and commitment to collegiate golf.

A former Treasurer and President of the NGCA, Hession was also the recipient of the 1989 LPGA Tour Samaritan Award. In her 19-year tenure at the helm of the Buckeyes, she has molded exceptional athletes both on the course and in the classroom. Under Hession, Ohio State has produced 10 NGCA All-American selections, 41 All-Big Ten selections, five Big Ten Player of the Year and five Big Ten Freshman of the Year recipients. Academically, she has overseen 26 NGCA All-American Scholars, 78 Academic All-Big Ten selections and 111 OSU Scholar-Athletes.

FALL BALL
Ohio State opened its fall schedule Sept. 13-15 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev. There, the Buckeyes carded a team score of 884, just three strokes back from tournament winner Pepperdine. Leading the team was junior In Hong Lim who carded a three-day total of 219 to tie for sixth. Tying for 11th, freshman Rachel Rohanna finished her first collegiate tournament with a score of 221.

After competing in Sin City, the Buckeyes previewed their Big Ten Course and field at the Lady Northern Invitational in Madison, Wis. The site of the 2010 Big Ten tournament, the Buckeyes fired a team score of 878 on the par 72, 6,246 University Ridge Golf Course to tie for second with Michigan State. Rohanna, senior Emma Jandel and sophomore Vicky Villanueva concluded the tournament in the top 20 with Rohanna leading the Buckeyes with a fourth place finish at 218 (+2).

Next up, Ohio State fired a team score of 921 at the Mercedes-Benz Championship Oct. 16-18. Finishing in 15th, Ohio State was again led by Rohanna who placed 28th at 226. Competing as an individual, freshman Susana Benavides tied for sixth. Shooting a 218, her total included a round of 1-under 71 on the par 72, 6,317 Fox Den course in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Buckeyes wrapped their fall slate on their own Scarlet Course when they hosted the All-Ohio Invitational Oct. 25-26. Contending against in-state competition from Bowling Green, Dayton and Ohio University, Ohio State posted four finishers in the top 5 of the field. Leading the field by eight strokes was Villanueva who took medalist honors with a 36-hole total of 143 (+1). Also in the Top 5 were sophomore Nara Shin, freshman Amy Meier and Benavides.

COACHES CORNER
The 2009-10 season marks the 19th year the Buckeyes are led by head coach Therese Hession. A former LPGA professional, Hession has molded the Ohio State golf program into one with a strong tradition of excellence. In her tenure, she has led the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten championships, 11 NCAA championship appearances and 16-consecutive NCAA regional appearances. Hession is an NGCA Hall of Famer and six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year awardwinner.

Assisting Hession is former Buckeye Amy (Langhals) Miller. Now in her fifth year at the assistant coach position, Miller was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame last September. While at Ohio State, Miller was a three-time All-Big Ten selection as well as the 1997 Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year. She married Greg Miller, associate head coach of the Buckeye women’s soccer team, over the summer.

JONES NAMED 2011 U.S. SOLHEIM CUP TEAM CAPTAIN
Rosie Jones, a former Buckeye and 13-time winner on the LPGA Tour, was selected as captain of the 2011 Solheim Cup Team. Held at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, the 2011 Solheim Cup will run from Sept. 23-25. Jones, who was a part of the first U.S. Solheim Cup team in 1990, has won more than $8 million in her tenure with the tour. In her career, which spans over three decades, Jones notched 187 Top 10 finishes, five holes-in-one and a 5-4 playoff record. 

COMING SOON
Along with the opportunity to play on the renowned Scarlet Course, the Buckeyes will soon have access to the largest indoor collegiate golf facility in the country. Approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees September 2008, the 26,000-square foot facility should break ground during the 2010-11 season.

UP NEXT
Based on their performance this weekend, the Buckeyes will look to secure a spot at the NCAA championship tournament. The top eight squads from each regional will compete at the NCAA championships, May 18-21, in Wilmington, N.C.