April 6, 2006
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 19 Ohio State women’s golf team travels to Stanford, Calif., for the Peg Barnard Collegiate. The event runs April 8-9 at the par-72 Stanford Golf Course (6,168 yards).
There will be three rounds of play beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with two rounds and the final round Sunday at 8 a.m. Both days will have shotgun starts. It will be the first time Ohio State has competed at the event.
Of the 14 teams competing, four of the squads are ranked in the Top 25.
Stanford, Hawaii, Fresno State, Denver, California, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Ohio State, San Francisco, Oregon State, Portland State, San Jose State, Washington State and Santa Clara all will be competing.
First Time’s a Charm
Ohio State will make its first appearance at the Peg Barnard Collegiate this weekend. It is not the first time the Buckeyes have competed in a Stanford-hosted event. Ohio State competed at the Stanford Invitational Oct. 24-26, 1997. OSU finished 12th of 17 teams.
The Buckeyes also went to the Cal Invitational for the first time in school history this season.
Connelly Cracks Top 50
Freshman Stephanie Connelly is ranked No. 49 in the Golfweek individual rankings. She has recorded 23 wins over Top 50 opponents throughout seven tournaments. Connelly has the Buckeyes lowest average (75.55) after 18 rounds.
Seventh of 18 at Liz Murphey
The Buckeyes finished seventh of 18 teams at the Liz Murphey Invitational at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., March 24-26. Recording a score of 928 on the par-72 course, Ohio State improved from a 314 opening round to 307 for the final two rounds. Stephanie Connelly shot the Buckeyes’ lowest round of the tournament (72). She recorded 226, only five strokes behind the tournament medalist. She tied for 12th.
Buckeyes Gear Up for 26th Buckeye Invitational
Ohio State will hold the 26th Buckeye Invitational April 22-23 at the Golf Club of Dublin. Hosting a field of 14 teams, the Buckeyes are hoping to secure their 11th win at the event.
The team also will be attempting to have its third-consecutive tournament medalist, as Kristen White and Lindsay Knowlton earned first place honors, respectively at the previous two Buckeyes Invitationals.
Ohio State Hosts 2006 NCAAs
Ohio State will host the 2006 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships May 23-26. The four rounds of competition will be held on the Ohio State University Scarlet Course.
Each round will cost $10, while an all-session pass is available for $20. Practice rounds will have no charge. A complete schedule is available at ohiostatebuckeyes.com. For tickets please visit hangonsloopy.com.
Getting Better With Age
Ohio State has steadily improved since the beginning of the spring season. The team opened the second-half of the year with the Northrup Grumman, finishing with a 307.67 average in the three rounds contested. At the Central District, the Buckeyes improved their average to 302.33, while at the Cal Invitational, they lowered their average to 301.33.
A Look at the Stats
After competing in seven tournaments this season, Ohio State has compiled a record of 56-42-1. Only Dana Je and Carling Coffing have played all 21 rounds. Stephanie Connelly follows, playing in 18 rounds this season.
Jennifer Cassidy shot a 69 at the Dick McGuire Invitational, the lowest individual round recorded by a Buckeye thus far. Connelly has the lowest average, 75.55, while Cassidy has finished highest on the leaderboard, tying for sixth at the Dick McGuire Invitational Sept. 28.
Connelly Named Golfer of the Week
Stephanie Connelly earned the first Big Ten Player of the Week accolade for 2006 after finishing tied for eighth at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Feb. 13-15. Connelly, a freshman, shot 224 at the event in Palos Verdes, Calif. She opened the invitational with a score of 80 (+9), but returned the following two days to shoot a season-best one-over-par (72) to finish the event in the Top 10. The eighth-place finish also was the highest Connelly has finished in a tournament all season.
In the Golfweek Rankings
Following three fall tournaments and four spring invitationals, the Buckeyes find themselves No. 19 nationally. Duke tops the national rankings, followed by UCLA. In the central region rankings, Ohio State is No. 4, with Purdue at No. 1.
Coach Hession on the Fall
After competing in three tournaments, head coach Therese Hession said the fall provided building blocks for the upcoming spring season.
“The fall gave me the opportunity to see a lot of my new players in action and how the older players fit with them,” Hession said. “It also gives me an idea of where their weaknesses are so we can build on them during the winter months and make corrections and improvements.”
She also mentioned the areas the team worked on during the off-season.
“Always, we’re never too good in the short game for me. Mechanically, with their swings, some of them have a little bit to do, but we’re in pretty good shape.”
Eighth-Place Finish at Cal Invite
The Buckeyes finished the Cal Invitational in eighth place in Guadalajara, Mexico, March 6-8. Totaling 904 at the par-72 Guadalajara Country Club, the Buckeyes shot 292 during the final round to record the second-lowest round of the season.
Dana Je had the best individual showing for the Ohio State squad. She recorded 222 to finish the tournament tied for 17th. Ohio State finished ahead of both No. 25 Washington and No. 16 Stanford.
OSU Second at Central District
At the Central District Invite in Parrish, Fla., Feb. 20-21, the Buckeyes finished second after three rounds. The Buckeyes totaled 907 (301+308+298) at the par 72 River Wilderness Golf Club. The Buckeyes shot their third-lowest round of the season, 298 (+10), to pull ahead of Southern Methodist during the final round of play.
Stephanie Connelly and Dana Je tied for 11th with 226 strokes to take top honors for the Scarlet and Gray. Gemma Webster and Carling Coffing joined Connelly and Je among the Top 25 individuals, tying for 20th and 24th, respectively.
Ohio State finished the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Feb. 13-15, 10th of 14 teams. The team shot 307 during the final round to total 923 (314-302-307=923) at the par 71 Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes, Calif.
Stephanie Connelly shot 72 (+1), the lowest round recorded for the Buckeyes at the tournament, during the final two rounds of competition. She finished the tournament with a score of 224 (80-72-72=224) to lead the team with a tie for eighth place. Dana Je followed Connelly in the standings, finishing tied for 26th with a 230 (75-77-78=230).
In Ohio State’s final tournament before the winter break, the Buckeyes tied for 11th of 14 at the Mercedes-Benz Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. The team shot 920 over the three-day competition, recording its lowest round (302) on the second day of competition.
Freshman Stephanie Connelly was the top finisher for the Scarlet and Gray, finishing the event tied for 18th. Connelly shot the team’s lowest round of the tournament, 74 (+3), on the second day. She had or tied the lowest score of the team every round of competition (77-74-75=226).
The Lady Tar Heel
In the second tournament of the season, Ohio State traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the Lady Tar Heel Invitational.
Finishing 7th of the 17 teams, the Buckeyes shot a total of 905. Carling Coffing was the highest finisher for the Buckeyes. She tied for the No. 11 spot (221). Coffing also had the best round of the tournament for OSU, recording a 71 (-1) in the second round of the event.
Season Opener in New Mexico
Ohio State opened the 2005-06 season Sept. 26-28 with a trip to Albuquerque, N.M., for the UNM Dick McGuire Invitational. The Buckeyes finished the three-day event fifth (886).
Ohio State tied for the tournament’s low round, with a 287 in the opening round. Pepperdine, the tournament champion, tied the 287 in the final day of the event.
Jennifer Cassidy, a freshman from Dalton, Ga., led the Buckeyes throughout the competition. She recorded Ohio State’s lowest round (69) on the opening day of play. She finished the event tied for sixth, after shooting 2-under par (217).
This year will bring a new challenge to the Buckeyes at home as the Scarlet Course is renovated throughout the year. The changes will bring a new feel to the old course, first built in 1938. Accuracy will be a key to success along with length off the tee. The greens have been expanded to bring the bunkers closer and allow only a small margin of error in the short game. Head coach Therese Hession believes it will pose one of the toughest challenges the student-athletes have ever seen. Currently, the Scarlet Course is ranked among the top college facilities in the nation by Golf Digest. The renovations are expected to move Ohio State’s facility up to one of, if not the top spot, nationally. The course is being overseen by Ohio State alum Jack Nicklaus.
The Buckeyes also will benefit from a new practice facility. Current plans indicate more than 22 shots can be practiced on the new pitching area.
“It will be fantastic because the team can really work on their short game,” Hession said. “I’m a big believer in that part of the game.”
Going For Five
The Buckeyes have their sights set on consecutive Big Ten title No. 5 when they compete in the Big Ten tournament April 28-30 in Bloomington, Ind. The championship will take place at the par-72, 6,142 yard IU Championship Golf Course.
“I really think we’re going to be a contender,” Hession said. “I have no doubt about it. Even with as many new players that might make the lineup, the championship isn’t until the end of April and we’ll have a lot of time to work and develop their games. I think the tournament will be an interesting shootout and I’m interested in getting out and playing with them (the league) to see how we stack up.”
A Trio of Seniors
Ohio State will seek guidance from the team’s three seniors – Brittany Adams, Erin Borowiec and Jennifer Selfinger. Selfinger brings the most experience to the team with two trips to the national tournament under her belt. She was an instrumental part of the team that finished fourth at the 2003 NCAA Tournament. She was named second team All-Big Ten last season following a third-place finish with a score of 226 in Ann Arbor, Mich. She helped the Buckeyes tie for sixth place at the 2005 NCAA Championships in Sunriver, Ore.
Adams played well in the spring a year ago, making her first trip to the Big Ten tournament. She recorded her best finish last season at the Lady Northern Invitational with a tie for 28th place.
While Borowiec has not seen much action competitively, she will challenge for a spot in the lineups throughout the season, using the experience gained throughout her career.
“We’ll be looking for some leaders to step up with this many new people,” Hession said. “They’re going to have their hands full.”
A New Assistant
Amy Langhals rejoins the Ohio State women’s golf program this season, returning as the team’s new assistant coach. Langhals competed for the Buckeyes from 1993-97.
In her first season with the Scarlet and Gray, Langhals was named the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year after claiming the Purdue Spring Invitational. As a senior, Langhals was instrumental to winning the 1997 Big Ten Championships, walking away with medalist honors. She was named Ohio State’s Female Athlete of the Year following the season.
Langhals was a member of the LPGA tour in 2001 and 2002 and competed in two U.S. Women’s Open championships in 2001 and 2004.