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Buckeyes to play in tournament emulating new NCAA format

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team and the other 10 schools from the Big Ten Conference will be competing in the inaugural Big Ten Match Play Championship, Feb. 13-14 in Coral Springs, Fla. The tournament is the first of its kind and will be held at the par 72, 7,268-yard Heron Bay Golf Club. The event will allow the league members to gain match play experience as the format will be included in the new NCAA Men’s Golf Championship this spring.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: Big Ten Match Play Championship
Course: Heron Bay Golf Club (Par 72, 7,268 yards)
Field: 11 teams (Golfweek rankings) Illinois (8), Indiana (12), Iowa (45), Michigan (38), Michigan State (27), Minnesota (63), Northwestern (49), Ohio State (44), Penn State (57), Purdue (65), Wisconsin (81)
Schedule:
Friday, Feb. 13: First Round and Quarterfinals
Saturday, Feb. 14: Semifinals and Championship

HOW IT WORKS
    The first round and quarterfinals will take place Friday followed by the semifinals and championship Saturday. An opening ceremony will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Heron Bay.
    The event will be televised by the Big Ten Network with former ESPN announcer Jim Kelly and Golfweek’s Lance Ringler serving as commentators.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday Morning

Match 1 Northwestern vs. Penn State
Match 2 Purdue vs. Minnesota
Match 3 Ohio State vs. Wisconsin
Match 4 Michigan vs. Iowa
Friday Afternoon
Match 5 Illinois vs. Penn State/Northwestern
Match 6 Indiana vs. Minnesota/Purdue
Match 7 Michigan State vs. Ohio State/Wisconsin

Saturday semifinal and consolation matches will be determined by Friday winners and losers. A complete bracket is available on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com or on www.BigTen.org.

THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
    Traveling to Florida to compete will be captains Vaughn Snyder and Brad Wright, along with Bo Hoag, Brad Smith, Michael Cress, and Alex Redfield. It will be Redfield’s first official event as a Buckeye and Cress’ first event of the season.

BUCKEYES VS. BADGERS
    When Ohio State and Wisconsin meet in the first round of the Big Ten Match Play Championship, it will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. They both played in the Memphis Intercollegiate, Oct. 6-7. The Buckeyes won the rained-shortened 36-hole event by three strokes at 12-over 588 while the Badgers placed 11th with a score of 610.

IN THE FIELD
    Just one Big Ten school is outside the Top 80 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, making the Big Ten Match Play Championship a strong and competitive field. Seven schools are inside the Top 50, including Illinois and Indiana who are both among the Top 15. 
    Seven conference individuals from six different schools are ranked in the Top 50 in the nation: No. 3 Jorge Campillo (Indiana), No. 17 Scott Langley (Illinois), No. 22 Vaughn Snyder (Ohio State), No. 25 Kevin Foley (Penn State), No. 26 David Lipsky (Northwestern), No. 27 Alex Martin (Indiana) and No. 42 Cole Peevler (Iowa). In addition, No. 55 Jack Newman of Michigan State won the 2008 U.S. Amateur Public Links title and received an invitation to play in the 2009 Masters.

THE COURSE AHEAD
    Heron Bay Golf Club, located in Coral Springs, Fla., played host to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic for six years. In December 2008, Heron Bay became the new home of the prestigious Dixie Amateur, a tournament Ohio State’s own Vaughn Snyder finished as runner-up.
    Heron Bay, an 18 holes championship course, opened in 1996 and is laid out over 240 acres. The 7,268-yard course features water on every hole and an abundance of bunkers.
    PGA Tour player and golf course architect Mark McCumber designed the course to be the home of the Tour’s Honda Classic. Heron Bay was voted as one of America`s 10 Best New Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest when it opened.

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
    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)

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 and was born from the A.W. Jones family and its commitment to amateur golf.

FALL OUT
    In the last official event Ohio State closed the Turtle Bay Resort Intercollegiate with a score of 7-under 281 to tie its lowest round of the season, on the par 72, 6,535-yard Fazio Course in Oahu, Hawaii (Nov. 12). The Buckeyes finished fifth with three-day total of 12-under 852.
    Snyder finished with his second round of 67 of the tournament to win for the second time in the fall. Snyder had rounds of 67-71-67 for the week, finishing at 11-under 205. Patrick Simard finish tied for 18th at 3-under par.

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 continues their spring schedule with the familiar Rio Pinar Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla. Ohio State next competes in The General Jim Hackler Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and a spring break tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla.
    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.

RANKINGS
    In the Golfweek/Sagarin college golf rankings released Feb. 8, Ohio State is ranked 44th 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 39-21 thru four events.
    Senior tri-captain Vaughn Snyder is the 22nd ranked individual. Snyder won the Turtle Bay Resort Invitational and Memphis Intercollegiate in the fall and finished in the Top 20 in every event this season.

FANTASTIC FALL
    For the second consecutive fall, Ohio State had a successful campaign. 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. Ohio State had three Top 5 finishes including a victory. 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. They also have three of the top four stroke averages on the team. Snyder leads with 71.27, followed by Hoag at 72.55 with Wright fourth at 73.91.

NCAA FORMAT CHANGES
    The NCAA has decided to expand the regional format from three to six sites. Beginning this season, 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
    Ohio State is earning its frequent flyer miles this season as they will 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 has made an immediate impact in the Buckeye lineup. The native of Massillon, Ohio, has won two tournaments and never finished outside the Top 20 in eight career 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. 22 in the individual category. He has compiled a record of 305-36-9 against individuals this season. Snyder’s stellar play has helped the team to a ranking of 44th and a record of 39-21-0.
    For the season, Snyder has shot in the 60’s three 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 71.27, a full stroke better than the second-best average on the team.
    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 didn’t 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. Snyder 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 two of the four fall tournaments. Hoag posted his best career finish with fourth at the William H. Tucker Invitational. The Upper Arlington, Ohio, native had rounds of 70-69-74 for a total of 3-under 213 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.
    For his career, Hoag has six Top 10 finishes in 15 collegiate events. He has now shot under-par on 12 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.
  
THE WRIGHT MAN
    Junior tri-captain Brad Wright started out his Ohio State career in stellar fashion, shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round of the William H. Tucker Invitational (Sept. 26). He finished the tournament tied for 14th with a three-round total of 216 (+3). Wright followed it up tying for 11th at the Memphis Intercollegiate. The native of Cambridge, Ohio, transferred to Ohio State last season and redshirted the year.
    Over the summer, Wright won three tournaments. In August, he won the 2008 Ohio Publinx Tournament at 10-under in four rounds, which included rounds of 66 and 68. He also won the Eastern Ohio Amateur and the Stark County Amateur Golf Association’s Envirite Tam O’Shanter Spring Classic. 

FUTURE BUCKEYE
    Zachery Sobel, one of the top recruits of 2009, has signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to play for Ohio State. Sobel, a native of Clearwater, Fla., 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
    For the third-consecutive event, Ohio State travel to the State of Florida. This time the Buckeyes will be in Orlando for the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate Feb. 23-24 hosted by the University of Central Florida.