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Buckeyes make 32nd NCAA appearance under coach Jim Brown, compete May 14-16 for trip to Toledo

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team joins a strong field at the Club at Olde Stone for the 2009 NCAA Central Regional, May 14-16 in Bowling Green, Ky. The Buckeyes, who will be making their 32nd NCAA appearance under head coach Jim Brown, are one of 14 teams and five individuals competing at the par 72, 7,234-yard course at Western Kentucky University.
    The competitors will play 18 holes each day starting at 8:30 a.m. (CT), and admission to the event is free.  The Buckeyes will tee off of hole No. 1 Thursday between 9:20-10 a.m., and off of No. 10 between 10:10-10:50 a.m. Tee times for the final round Saturday will be determined by team standings after 36 holes.
    After 54 holes of play, the Top 5 teams and low individual not on those teams advance to the NCAA Championships at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, May 26-30.

KEEPING TRACK
    Live scoring for the NCAA Central Regional 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: 2009 NCAA Central Regional
Course: The Club at Olde Stone (Par 72, 7,234 yards)

Field:

1. Washington
2. Georgia Tech
3. N.C. State
4. UCLA
5. Ole Miss
6. East Tennessee State
7. Duke
8. Louisville
9. Ohio State
10. Vanderbilt
11. Middle Tennessee State
12. Austin Peay
13. Cleveland State
14. Bucknell
Individuals:
1. Mike Van Sickle, Marquette
2. Sebastian MacLean, Xavier
3. Trey Bowling, Eastern Kentucky
4. Tyler Duncan, Purdue
5. John Montgomery, Alabama State

Schedule (Tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. each day):
Thursday, May 14: 18 holes
Friday, May 15: 18 holes
Saturday, May 16: 18 holes

Other Sites:
Northeast Regional: Galloway National Golf Club (Galloway, N.J.)
Southeast Regional: Red Tail Golf Club (Sorrento, Fla.)
South Central Regional: Karsten Creek Golf Club (Stillwater, Okla.)
Southwest Regional: University of Texas Golf Club (Austin, Texas)
West Regional: Lake Merced Golf Club (Daly City, Calif.)

THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
    Competing for the Buckeyes will be senior Vaughn Snyder, junior Brad Wright, and sophomores Bo Hoag, Michael Cress and Brad Smith.
    Hoag, Snyder and Wright have played in all 31 rounds this season. Cress has competed in every spring tournament while Smith has played in three of the last four tournaments. In 2008, Hoag, Snyder and Smith competed in the Central Regional. This will be the first NCAA experience for Wright and Cress.

THE COURSE AHEAD
    The Club at Olde Stone, located in Bowling Green, sits in Kentucky’s famed rolling hills. The par 72, 7,234-yard Arthur Hills course features many trees, marsh, creeks and lakes. Olde Stone opened in 2006 and has bent grass fairways and greens. Golf Digest named the Club at Olde Stone eighth on its list of “Best New Private Courses” and Golfweek placed the course at No. 33 on its annual “Top 100 Residential Golf Courses” list.

A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
    Five of the 14 teams competing don’t have far to travel to get to the NCAA Central Regional, including in-state school Louisville, as well as Tennessee schools Austin Peay State (Clarksville), East Tennessee State (Johnson City), Middle Tennessee State (Murfreesboro) and Vanderbilt (Nashville). Trey Bowling from Eastern Kentucky will be competing as an individual.
   Along with the Buckeyes, Cleveland State will be representing the state of Ohio in Bowling Green. Sebastian MacLean represents Xavier as an individual. The only other Big Ten connection also is an individual in Tyler Duncan from Purdue.
    Half of the Central Regional is compiled of conference champions Washington (Pac-10), Georgia Tech (ACC), Louisville (Big East), Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt), Austin Peay State (Ohio Valley), Cleveland State (Horizon League) and Bucknell (Patriot League).

BUCKEYES AGAINST THE FIELD
    Ohio State has faced nine of its 13 opponents previously this season. Leading the way are Mississippi and Eastern Tennessee State with three meetings apiece. The Buckeyes also have faced Louisville, N.C. State and Vanderbilt twice. The single time they faced Cleveland State, Duke, Middle Tennessee State and UCLA, the Buckeyes came out on top.
    New to the OSU opponent list are Austin Peay, Bucknell, Georgia Tech and Washington.

BIG TEN STRENGTH
    The Big Ten Conference was the big winner when the NCAA regionals were announced. An impressive nine teams qualified for the regionals and the teams that did not advance, Purdue and Wisconsin, each have an individual playing at a regional site.

RECAPPING THE ’08 REGIONAL
    Last year in regional action, Ohio State tied for 16th at the NCAA Central Regional played on the Buckeyes’ own Scarlet Course. OSU finished the 54-hole event 10 strokes outside the Top 10, which advanced to the NCAA championships. Vaughn Snyder, then in his junior season, led the team in a tie for 20th at 11-over 224.

DOWN THE STRETCH
    Head coach Jim Brown, the winningest active coach in the NCAA, is making his 32nd and final appearance in the NCAA tournament. In his career, the Buckeyes won the 1979 national championship and recorded 11 finishes in the Top 10, including seven in the Top 5. Chris Perry was named the national player of the year in 1984, while Clark Burroughs took home the NCAA individual national title the following year, becoming the first Ohio State golfer to do so since Jack Nicklaus in 1961.

HOAG AND SNYDER NAMED ALL-BIG TEN
    Sophomore Bo Hoag was named First Team All-Big Ten and senior Vaughn Snyder was a second team selection the conference announced May 5. Hoag is the first Buckeye to earn first team laurels since Scott Anderson in 2005.
    As a freshman last season, Hoag was awarded second team honors. This season, he leads the Buckeyes with a stroke average of 72.29 while playing in all 31 rounds. The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native has 13 rounds of even-par or below. Hoag has posted seven Top 10 finishes this season, including five in the last six events. He led Ohio State at the Big Ten championships with an eighth-place finish.
    Snyder, a tri-captain from Massillon, Ohio, is second on the team with 73.48 stroke average and also has played in all 31 rounds. He leads the Buckeyes with five rounds in the 60’s and eight rounds under par. Snyder won two tournaments in the fall the Memphis Invitational and the Turtle Bay Resort Intercollegiate.

GOLFWEEK RATINGS
   Bo Hoag is ranked No. 32 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin ratings released May 3. He has a 7-9 mark against the Top 25 and is 49-33-6 vs. the Top 100. As a team, Ohio State is ranked No. 50. The Buckeyes have a 86-55-1 record overall with a 48-55-1 mark vs. the Top 100 squads.

LAST TIME OUT
    Ohio State concluded the 2009 Big Ten Championships tied for fourth with a 72-hole total of 1,170, May 1-3 in State College, Pa. The Buckeyes were led by sophomore Bo Hoag, who finished in eighth place. It was his fifth Top 10 finish in the last six events. Hoag has now led the Buckeyes and finished in the Top 10 in both of his Big Ten championships after tying for 10th as a freshman.
    The tournament marked the 36th and final Big Ten championships for OSU head coach Jim Brown, who has won a record 17 league titles. Illinois claimed the ’09 championship at 13-over with a 13 stroke lead over second-place Minnesota.

POSTSEASON SUCCESS
    Two weeks ago, coach Jim Brown made his 36th appearance at the Big Ten championships, where he has won a record 17 conference crowns. From 1973-98, Brown led Ohio State through the most successful span in conference championship history, winning an astounding 16 conference titles with eight runner-up finishes in the 25-year period. Ohio State has put together winning streaks at the Big Ten championship for six years (1982-87), five years (1976-80) and three years (1995-97).
    Ohio State golfers have won the individual conference championship 12 times during Brown’s tenure, including four straight from 1976-79, during which John Cook won twice. Brown also has overseen a record 16 Les Bolstad Award winners, the Big Ten award for the lowest stroke average, including 10 consecutive from 1976-85. John Cook and Chris Perry each won the award three-consecutive years.

BO-DACIOUS
    After earning Second Team All-Big Ten laurels his first season, sophomore Bo Hoag was recently named to the first team as a sophomore. Hoag continued his success this season by placing in the Top 10 in seven tournaments this season, including five of the past six. He leads the team with a stroke average of 72.29. For his career, Hoag has finished in the Top 10 in 11 of his 21 collegiate events. He has now shot under-par on 16 occasions as a Buckeye and had seven sub-70 rounds.

THE WRIGHT MAN
    At the 2009 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate hosted by Ohio State (April 11-12), junior Brad Wright snapped a 13-year drought by becoming the first Buckeye to win the event since 1996. Competing as an individual, the tri-captain from Cambridge, Ohio, opened with two rounds of even-par 71 on Scarlet Course and closed with a 76 to win with a total of 218, two strokes ahead of Northwestern’s Josh Dupont.
    Wright was the first OSU golfer to win the Kepler since Matt Minister in 1996, who also won it as an individual.

BUCKEYE MEDALISTS
   Ohio State golfers have won three events this season. Along with Brad Wright’s victory at OSU’s own Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, senior Vaughn Snyder won two tournaments during the fall. He led the Buckeyes 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.

SNYDER’S NOTEWORTHY SUCCESSES
    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, was recently named Second Team All-Big Ten, continuing his string of success.  For the season, Snyder has shot in the 60’s five times, including a career-low 66 at the FAU Spring Break Championship and two 67’s in Hawaii. To open the spring season, he was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Big Ten Match Play Championship after compiling a 3-0-0 record.

BROWN’S FINALE AT SCARLET COURSE
    This season’s 40th Annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate marked head coach Jim Brown’s final home event at the helm of the Buckeyes. During his tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes won the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate 20 times and produced the medalist on 17 separate occasions, including Brad Wright in 2009.

HOAG NABS TWO BIG TEN GOLFER OF THE WEEK AWARDS
    Bo Hoag picked up two Big Ten Golfer of the Week awards this spring. He earned the conference’s Feb. 25 honor with his eighth-place finish, shooting scores of 72-70-73 on the par 72, 6,978-yard Rio Pinar Golf and Country Club.
    The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native then nabbed the March 11 award after tying for third (73-73-73219) at the General Jim Hackler Championship on the par 72, 6,950-yard TPC of Myrtle Beach. Hoag pared 39 of 54 holes and did not record anything higher than a bogey.

BEAR SIGHTING
    While in South Florida over spring break for the FAU Spring Break Championship, the Ohio State men’s golf team was able to spend some time with the program’s most famous alum, Jack Nicklaus. The Buckeye golfers dined at Nicklaus’ home where they talked about the game of golf with the greatest of all-time.

THE SPRING SCHEDULE
    The Buckeyes competed 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 to open March, the Buckeyes closed the month in Delray Beach, Fla., for the FAU Spring Break Championship.
    April 4 featured a quad meet at the Scarlet Course in which the Buckeyes topped in-state foes Cleveland State, Dayton and Youngstown State. That was followed by Ohio State’s own 40th Annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate also played at Scarlet. The Buckeyes traveled to College Station, Texas, and round out regular-season play and placed third at the Aggie Invitational.

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.

CURRENT VS. PAST IN ALUMNI MATCH
    As a tune-up for the spring, the alumni bested the current 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.

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
    The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee changed the format for the 2009 NCAA Championships 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 earned their frequent flyer miles this regular season as they traveled 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.

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.

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 95 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 157 tournament victories. In his 35 seasons, Brown has led the Buckeyes to 32 NCAA appearances 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.

UP NEXT
    Should the Buckeyes finish in the Top 5 at the Central Regional, they will head to the 2009 NCAA Championships in Toledo, Ohio, at the Inverness Club. The University of Toledo hosts the 72-hole tournament May 26-30.