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Bo Hoag looks for another strong event after earning Big Ten Golfer of the Week last time out

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team returns to action at the General Jim Hackler Championship, March 8-9 in Murrells Inlet, S.C. The 54-hole tournament will take place at the par 72, 6,955-yard TPC of Myrtle Beach. Play begins with 36 holes on Sunday and the final 18 Monday morning. The event features a skilled field with the lowest ranked team in the 14-team field is No. 60. 

KEEPING TRACK
    Live scoring for the General Jim Hackler Championship will be available online at www.golfstat.com. Links also are available on the men’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: General Jim Hackler Championship
Course: TPC of Myrtle Beach (Par 72, 6,955 yards)
Field: 14 teams (Golfweek rankings) Augusta State (41), Coastal Carolina (50), Duke (36), East Tennessee State (27), Illinois (8), Kentucky (59), Lamar (32), North Carolina (60), NC State (35), Ohio State (57), Pepperdine (38), South Carolina (10), UCLA (22), Wake Forest (34)
Schedule:
Sunday, March 8: 36 holes
Monday, March 9: 18 holes

THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
    Competing for the Buckeyes will be captains Vaughn Snyder and Brad Wright, along with sophomores Bo Hoag and Michael Cress and freshman Alex Redfield. This will be Redfield’s first stroke-play tournament after making his college debut at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in February.

THE COURSE AHEAD
    The TPC of Myrtle Beach is designed by world renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio and opened in 1999. The five-star course features rustic wetlands and tall pines and is known for having very demanding par 3’s. The TPC of Myrtle Beach is rated as one of the most difficult and best maintained courses in the Greater Myrtle Beach area. The par-72, 6,955-yard course has a course rating of 74 and slope of 145. Recent renovations include new practice facilities, including practice putting and chipping green.

RANKINGS
    In the Golfweek/Sagarin college golf rankings released March 3, Ohio State is ranked 57th in the country. The Buckeyes won the Memphis Intercollegiate earlier this season, which was shortened to 36 holes because of inclement weather, by three strokes over host Memphis. On the season, Ohio State has a record of 47-33 thru five events.
    Senior tri-captain Vaughn Snyder is the 33rd-ranked individual. Snyder won the Turtle Bay Resort Invitational and Memphis Intercollegiate in the fall and has finished in the Top 20 in all but one event this season. He was named to the All-Tournament team at the Big Ten Match Play Championships after going
3-0-0 in the event. Sophomore Bo Hoag is ranked 88th. He is second on the team in stroke average at 72.36. He has three Top 10 finishes this season, including a career-best fourth at the William H. Tucker Invitational to open the fall season.
   
LAST TIME OUT

    Sophomore Bo Hoag recorded his third Top 10 finish of the season as Ohio State finished 13th out of 21 teams at the Rio Pinar Invitational in Orlando, Fla. The Buckeyes shot a 54-hole total of 891 (+27) on the par 72, 6,978-yard Rio Pinar Golf and Country Club. Hoag finished at 1-under 215, good for eighth place.

HOAG NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
    After a Top 10 finish at the Rio Pinar Invitational, Bo Hoag was named Big Ten Player of the Week Feb. 25, his first weekly honor as a Buckeye and the first for an OSU golfer this season. Hoag had an eighth-place finish, shooting scores of 72-70-73 on the par 72, 6,978-yard Rio Pinar Golf and Country Club. It was his third Top 10 finish in five tournaments this season.

BROWN, SNYDER HONORED
    Ohio State head coach Jim Brown was the recipient of the Labron Harris Sr. Award presented by E-Z-GO in cooperation with The PGA of America and the Golf Coaches Association of America. He was presented the award Jan. 26 in Orlando. The Harris Award is given to the college or high school coach and PGA Professional whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of the game and represents the finest qualities the game has to offer.
    Vaughn Snyder was named Ohio Golfer of the Year by Ohio’s Golf Magazine and the Ohio Golf Group. Along with his two collegiate victories this fall, Snyder won the Ohio Amateur and finished second in the Summit Country Amateur last summer. In July, the Massillon, Ohio, native won the 102nd Ohio Amateur and was the only player in the field to finish under par. He overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round to capture the title.

THE SPRING SCHEDULE
    The Buckeyes will compete in five tournaments this spring that they did not compete in last season after playing in three new ones in the fall. Following the inaugural Big Ten Match Play Championship, Ohio State continued its spring schedule with the familiar Rio Pinar Intercollegiate in Orlando. After playing in the General Jim Hackler Championship this weekend, the Buckeyes head to West Palm Beach, Fla., for a spring break tournament.
    The first Saturday of April will feature a quad match at the Scarlet Course. The Buckeyes will go up against in-state foes Cleveland State, Dayton and Youngstown State. The following weekend gives way to Ohio State’s own 40th annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate also played at the Scarlet Course. Next up, the Buckeyes travel to College Station, Texas, and rounds out regular-season play at the Texas A&M Tournament.
    The 2009 Big Ten Championships in State College, Pa., starts postseason play. The six NCAA Regional sites are: The Club at Olde Stone (Bowling Green, Ky.), Galloway National Golf Club (Galloway, N.J.), Red Tail Golf Club (Sorrento, Fla.), University of Texas Golf Club (Austin, Texas), Karsten Creek Golf Club (Stillwater, Okla.), and Lake Merced Golf Club (Daily City, Calif.). This season, the NCAA championships are only a short distance at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

CURRENT VS. PAST IN ALUMNI MATCH
    The alumni bested the Buckeyes in the annual Alumni Match, 6.5 to 5.5, Feb. 7 at the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla. The 18-hole event is hosted by Jack and Gary Nicklaus and designed to give Buckeyes both past and present and opportunity to connect with one another. One current player competed against two former players per match.
    Among the past Buckeyes competing were the legendary Jack Nicklaus (1960-61), John Cook (1977-79), Joey Sindelar (1978-81), Gary Nicklaus (1988-91), Ed Sneed (1965-66), Kevin Hall (2001-04), Steve Anderson (1990-93), Rod Spittle (1976-78), Kyle Coconis (2006-08), Curt Sanders (1991-94), Peter Hammar (1985-88) and Mark Balen (1976-79).
    Balen, Sindelar and Cook were all members of Ohio State’s 1979 NCAA Championship team. The group featured 11 All-America awards, including first-team members Jack Nicklaus, Cook and Sindelar, and were part of 13 of Ohio State’s 23 Big Ten championships.

Alumni Match Results
Jack Nicklaus and John Cook def. Bo Hoag (2-0 alumni)
Brad Wright def. Joey Sindelar and Ed Sneed (2-2)
Gary Nicklaus and Steve Anderson def. Brad Smith (4-2 alumni)
Tanner Murphy def. Mark Balen (4-3 alumni)
Tanner Murphy halved Rod Spittle (4.5-3.5 alumni)
Alex Redfield def. Kevin Hall (4.5-4.5)
Curt Sanders def. Alex Redfield (5.5-4.5 alumni)
Michael Cress def. Peter Hammar (5.5-5.5)
Kyle Coconis def. Michael Cress (6.5-5.5 alumni)

FANTASTIC FALL
   Ohio State had a successful fall campaign for the second-consecutive season. Ohio State had three Top 5 finishes including a win. Last season, the Buckeyes carried that momentum into the spring and qualified for the NCAA Central Regional. The 2008-09 squad hopes to use the fall as a spring board again. The Buckeyes first place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate was its first tournament victory since 2004.
    For the fall, the Buckeyes had six rounds in the 60’s, including three from Vaughn Snyder, and 15 rounds under par.
    Three Buckeyes Snyder, Bo Hoag and Brad Wright competed in all four fall tournament this season. All three carded at least three rounds under par, while Snyder finished in the Top 20 at all four events with two wins. Hoag had two Top 10s and Wright finished in the Top 20 on two occasions.

SNYDER PLAYS IN JONES CUP
    Vaughn Snyder competed at the 2009 Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest Golf Club in Sea Island, Ga. He shot rounds of 76-71-87 to finish tied for 52nd at 18-over. The 54-hole, three-day stroke play event featured one of the strongest fields in amateur golf. The Jones Cup Invitational, a biennial amateur competition, was first contested in 2001.

NCAA FORMAT CHANGES
    This spring, the NCAA will expand the regional format from three sites to six. Each of the six regionals will host 75 players as opposed to 141 previously, with the Top 5 from each region advancing to the NCAA championships.
    The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee changed the format for 2009 with the individual champion determined after 54 holes of play and the Top 8 teams moving on to a final day of match-play. The team with the lowest score after three rounds will play the team with the eighth-lowest score, No. 2 will play No. 7 and so on until a national champion is determined.

FREQUENT FLYERS
    The Buckeyes are earning their frequent flyer miles this season as they travel a total of 11,962 miles to 11 different tournaments, an average of 1,087 miles per trip. Two of the Buckeyes excursion stretch over 1,300 miles, including a 4,498 miles trip to Hawaii. However, if Ohio State advances to the NCAA Championships, it is just a short two hour (120 miles) drive to Toledo. 

SOLID SNYDER
    Senior tri-captain Vaughn Snyder transferred to Ohio State the middle of last season and made an immediate impact in the Buckeye lineup. The native of Massillon, Ohio, has won two tournaments and has finished outside the Top 20 just once in nine events while at OSU. Both of Snyder’s victories came during the fall. He led the team to a victory at the Memphis Intercollegiate, while he took medalist honors with a score of 6-under 138. A month later he won at the Turtle Bay Resort Intercollegiate at 11-under par.
    In the latest Golfweek/Sagarin college golf rankings, Snyder is No. 33 in the individual category. He has compiled a record of 372-70-14 against individuals this season. He also ranks in the Top 5 in two individual categories: putts when in regulation and total short game. He is fifth, averaging 1.7 putts when hitting a green in regulation. In total short game, Snyder ranks fourth at 71.9.
    For the season, Snyder has shot in the 60’s four times, including two 67’s in Hawaii. Out of 11 rounds in the fall, he was even or under par for seven of them. His stroke average leads the Buckeyes at 71.79. He was named to the all-tournament team at the Big Ten Match Play Championship after compiling a 3-0-0 record.
    In the postseason last year, Snyder tied for 13th at the Big Ten championships and tied for 20th at the NCAA Central Regional to lead the Buckeyes.

SUNSHINE SUCCESS
    Vaughn Snyder’s stellar play did not end when the fall season came to a conclusion. The senior placed second at the 78th annual Dixie Amateur held Dec. 20-23 at the Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla., where he finished with a four-round total of 275 (-13), two strokes behind medalist Gavin Dear of Scotland. For the week, Snyder carded rounds of 69-65-70-71 on the par 72 course and led all collegiate players in the highly competitive field.
    Also competing in the Dixie Amateur from Ohio State was redshirt-freshman Dan Charen who tied for 45th with an even-par 288. He finished with scores of 69-68-76-75. Junior tri-captain Brad Wright opened with 76-70 to miss the cut.

BO-DACIOUS
    Sophomore Bo Hoag has continued his success this season, placing in the Top 10 in three tournaments so far. Hoag posted his best career finish with fourth at the William H. Tucker Invitational in the fall. The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native had rounds of 70-69-74 for a total of 213 (-3) and was just two strokes back from the event’s co-medalists. He followed that up with a tie for eighth at the Memphis Intercollegiate.
    He is the 88th-ranked collegiate individual. Hoag is 11th in the country in fairways hit, placing his drives in the short grass 80.4 percent of the time. He also is tied for 10th in greens in regulations at 75 percent.  
    For his career, Hoag has seven Top 10 finishes in 16 collegiate events. He has now shot under-par on 13 occasions as a Buckeye and had six sub-70 rounds. Last season, Hoag was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection as a true freshman. He had a stroke average of 73.13 and shot a career-low a 67 at the Tucker Invitational in his first collegiate round.
  
FUTURE BUCKEYE
    Zachery Sobel, one of the top recruits of 2009, has signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to play for Ohio State. A native of Clearwater, Fla., Sobel is ranked as high as fourth in the nation by some recruiting publications. The Palm Harbor University-Medical Magnet School student had three Top 5 finishes in American Junior Golf Association events last summer. He won the AJGA Heritage Junior Championship after shooting rounds of 68-62-71 to finish 15-under. His round of 62 is the lowest round ever recorded in an AJGA event.
    A two-time captain of his high school golf team, Sobel placed third at the Florida State High School Championship and is a four-time winner of the Greater Tampa Bay Junior Championship. In 2007, Sobel made it to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open. He also is a standout baseball player as the school’s starting shortstop and has earned seven varsity letters.

HOAG LEADS BUCKEYES IN FALL QUALIFYING, AGAIN
    Bo Hoag began his sophomore season by winning the team’s Jack Nicklaus Low Fall Qualifier Award for the second-consecutive season with an average of 69.25 in eight rounds. Hoag is just the sixth Buckeye to break with 70-mark in the 35 years of the award and the first since Colin Biles (69.4) in 2004. It was the third-lowest qualifying average with Doug Wade holding the all-time record at 68.6 in 2001.
    Fall qualifying for the team was held Sept. 12-21. The Buckeyes played eight rounds on the Scarlet Course and one round on the Gray Course at the OSU Golf Club with the highest score thrown out. Hoag, a native of Upper Arlington, Ohio, carded rounds of 69-72-68-70-70-70-69 with his score of 76 thrown out. He topped it off with a 66 on Gray.

ONE LAST TIME
    The 2008-09 season will be the last for Ohio State head coach Jim Brown. It will be Brown’s 36th season at the helm of the Buckeyes and 42nd year overall coaching college golf.
    Under his guidance, Ohio State has won a league-record 17 Big Ten championships. The Buckeyes won the conference crown every season from 1976-90, except for 1981 and ’88 when they were runners-up. He has produced 93 All-Big Ten honorees.
    Brown, a native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, has served as the head coach for the Buckeyes since 1974. He is currently the winningest active coach in the NCAA with a career record of 5,609-1,791-43 and 157 tournament victories. In his 35 seasons, Brown has led the Buckeyes to 31 NCAA appearances, including the NCAA Central Regional in 2008, and 11 Top 10 NCAA championship finishes. The Buckeyes won the national championship, the second in program history, in 1979.
    Individually, Brown has tutored an NCAA individual champion in Clark Burroughs (1985), 18 Big Ten medalists, 11 First Team All-America selections and 40 other All-America honorees. Chris Perry was named College Player of the Year in 1984 and Chris Smith earned both Big Ten Freshman of the Year (1988) and Player of the Year (1990) awards under Brown.
    Brown’s student-athletes also have excelled in the classroom. The Buckeyes have received 11 All-America Scholar awards, 55 Academic All-Big Ten honors and 84 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes nods since the inception of both awards in 1987.
    As a coach, Brown was named National Coach of the Year in 1979 and ’86, and District IV Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons from 1977-80 and again from 1982-87. He has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year laurels three times in 1995, ’96 and 2004.

SUMMER CHAMPIONS
    Ohio State men’s golfers posted good results throughout the summer, highlighted by Vaughn Snyder winning the 102nd Ohio Amateur and Brad Wright capturing the 2008 Ohio Publinx championship.
    Snyder won the Ohio Amateur in June with rounds of 71-71-70-71 at Findlay Country Club for a 1-under 283 total. The senior from Massillon, Ohio, was the only player to finish the tournament under par, holding off former teammate Kyle Coconis. The tournament was played under harsh conditions: high temperatures, thick rough, lightning-fast greens and nearly impossible pin positions.
    In August, Wright, a redshirt-junior from Cambridge, Ohio, won the event shooting rounds of 71-66-73-68 for a total of 10-under 278 to defeat Tom Ballinger, the 2007 champion, by two strokes on the par 72, 7,071-yard Cooks Creek Golf Course. Wright redshirted the 2007-08 season after transferring to Ohio State from the University of Akron.

UP NEXT
    The Buckeyes will be away from competition for almost three weeks before converging on West Palm Beach, Fla., for the FAU Spring Break Championship, March 27-29.