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Ohio State looks to defend title on its own Scarlet Course

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Competing on its home course, the Ohio State women’s golf team looks to defend its title at the 2010 Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, April 17-18. The Buckeyes will host 11 other teams on their own par 72, 6,275-yard Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club.

The two-day, 54-hole tournament will begin both days with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start with 36 holes being played Saturday.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational
Course: Scarlet Course – The Ohio State University Golf Club, Columbus, Ohio (par 72, 6,275 yards)
Field: 12 teams (Golfweek rankings)
Illinois (71)
Indiana (58)
Iowa
Iowa State (56)
Kent State (30)
Michigan State (10)
Minnesota (57)
Northwestern (38)
Ohio State (21)
Penn State
Wisconsin (61)
Youngstown State
Schedule:
Saturday, April 17: 36 holes (8:30 a.m. shotgun start)
Sunday, April 18: 18 holes (8:30 a.m. shotgun start)

KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will be available at www.golfstat.com. A link to the tournament will also be available at the women’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

THE LINE-UP
Playing on their own course, all seven Buckeye golfers will have a chance to compete at home. The event will mark the ninth outing for freshman Rachel Rohanna and junior In Hong Lim, the eighth for freshman Amy Meier, sophomore Vicky Villanueva and senior Emma Jandel and the seventh for freshman Susana Benavides. Competing as an individual, sophomore Nara Shin will participate in her fifth event of the season.

HOW IT WORKS
The two-day Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will feature a format of 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday. Each day will begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start, with scoring for each round taken from each team’s low four scores out of six competitors.

Ohio State will again play 36 holes in a day at the four-round Big Ten Championship, April 23-25.

SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Of the other 11 teams competing, Ohio State has faced all contending squads with the exception of Youngstown State. The Buckeyes have topped all of the 10 teams previously faced at least once during their 2009-10 campaign.

Although the Buckeyes have not teed off against the Penguins, there will still be some familiar faces on the course for freshman Rachel Rohanna. Rohanna’s grandmother, Roseann Schwartz, is the head coach at YSU.

BIG TEN BREAKDOWN
After concluding regular season play at home, the Buckeyes will next compete for the league crown at the Big Ten championships, April 23-25, in Madison, Wis.  In the Big Ten, the No. 21 Buckeyes are the third-highest ranked team behind No. 8 Purdue and No. 10 Michigan State, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.

With nine of the 12 competing teams hailing from the Big Ten, the Lady Buckeye will allow Ohio State to survey its league competition prior to the conference meet. At the Lady Northern Invitational, which previewed both the Big Ten course and field, the Buckeyes tied for second with Michigan State at 878, while Purdue won the tournament with a team score of 865. Leading Ohio State was freshman Rachel Rohanna who placed fourth at 2-over 218.

MAKING RANK
In the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings released April 11, the Buckeyes are the 21st ranked team in the country with overall record of 90-34-5. The Buckeyes are led by freshman Rachel Rohanna who is the 73rd individual according to the ratings, followed by junior In Hong Lim who sits in the 84th position. 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 NGCA coaches’ poll where they nabbed the 22nd slot.

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 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, March 26-28.

WEATHER FORECAST
Highs for this weekend are expected hover around the mid to high 50s.The weather.com golf index is “good” for both days of the tournament. Skies are expected to be partly cloudy on Saturday and sunny on Sunday.

A LOOK AT THE LINKS
In addition to being rated one of the best collegiate golf facilities in the country by Golf Digest, The Ohio State University Golf Course also boasts an extremely rich history. The vision of former Ohio State Athletic Director L. W. St. John, plans for the university club began in the early 1930’s. Designed by renowned course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, the courses were built during the Great Depression with labor provided by the government subsidized Works Progress Administration. One of the first collegiate golf courses in the Midwest, the 295 acre Scarlet Course was completed in 1938 with the Gray Course close to follow in 1940.

The Scarlet Course made history in 1941 when it played host to the first-ever Women’s National Golf Championship. Competing schools could be represented by a maximum of four players with entry fees costing five dollars per team. Fifty years later, the NCAA women’s championship played tribute to its roots when it returned to the Scarlet Course in 1991. The Scarlet Course has hosted a record 14 woman’s national championships along with several U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur qualifiers.

From 2005-06, Buckeye alumnus and golf legend Jack Nicklaus gave the Scarlet Course a facelift, redesigning the bunkers and lengthening the course. The current driving range was also enlarged and a short-game practice area was designed for the varsity teams. The redesigned course was re-opened just in time to host the 2006 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships.

Composed of bent grass greens and fairways, the par 72, 6,275-yard Scarlet Course boasts a slope of 132 and a course rating of 73.9. In addition to the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, Scarlet also hosted the All-Ohio Invitational in the fall.

SCARLET AND GRAY
Due to construction on the green of hole No. 16, competitors at this weekend’s tournament will instead tee off on the 16th hole of the Gray Course. With construction on Scarlet expected to conclude around June 1, Gray No. 16 is a par 4 hole measuring 374 yards.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The 2010 edition of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will mark the 30th year that Ohio State has hosted the tournament. Since its beginning in 1975, the Buckeyes have won the tournament 12 times and produced 11 medalists, the most of any school. Ohio State’s first tournament win came in 1980.

Behind Ohio State, league foe Michigan State has won the event three times, while Georgia, Indiana, Kent State and Kentucky have secured two wins, respectively. In 2006, Auburn fired the lowest team score with a total of 849 while Maria Martinez was the low individual at 207. Auburn and Martinez fired their scores at the Golf Club of Dublin as Scarlet was closed for restoration.

The inaugural Lady Buckeye tournament was won by a Kentucky who also had the medalist in Myra Van Hoose.

LAST TIME OUT
At the 2009 installment of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, Ohio State maintained its slot atop the leaderboard, winning with a team total of 895 (+31). Leading all three rounds, the Buckeyes bested second-place Kent State by a 10 stroke margin.

Topping eight Big Ten opponents, the Buckeyes were led by In Hong Lim who took medalist honors with a 54-hole total of 217. After opening with a score of 4-under 68, Lim tallied rounds of 74 and 75 en route to her first place finish. Also in the top 10 of the competitive field were freshman Vicky Villanueva and former Buckeye Gemma Webster who tied for sixth and ninth place, respectively.

The win at home was the first tournament championship for the Buckeyes since winning the NCAA Regional in 2005 and their first win at the Lady Buckeye since 2003. Lim was the first Buckeye to medal at an event since Kristen White took the Big Ten crown in 2005.

BRYAN NATIONAL COLLEGIATE RECAP
Competing on the par 72, 6,323-yard Players Course at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center, the No. 21 Buckeyes concluded the Bryan National Collegiate tied for third, April 2-4. Firing a final round of 294, the Buckeyes totaled 886 to tie with the nationall-ranked squads from Duke and Vanderbilt. The 18-team field featured 12 teams ranked in the Top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin poll. 

Leading Ohio State was freshman Rachel Rohanna and junior In Hong Lim who tied for 14th at 221. Sophomore Vicky Villanueva tied for 20th at 222.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS
Posting an overall record of 90-34-5, the Buckeyes are led in stroke average by freshman Rachel Rohanna who averages 75.17 after 24 rounds of play. Also competing in 24 rounds is junior In Hong Lim who is averaging 75.33 during her junior campaign. After eight possible events, six of seven Buckeyes have stroke averages under 77.

LINKED TO CHARITY
Along with several college events, Scarlet Course has also hosted the Nationwide Tour’s National Children’s Hospital Invitational. The third installment of the tournament, held July 27 – Aug. 2, 2009, raised $881,270 for charitable organizations. The amount raised was the second-largest on the 2009 Nationwide Tour. In the tournament’s three-year tenure, the event has raised more than $1.7 million. Ohio State, the Nationwide Tour and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational agreed to extend the event for another three summers. The fourth edition of the tournament will be held July 19-25, 2010.

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

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 75.17. 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.

Meier, from Rochester Hills, Mich., has led for the Buckeyes at two of their last four outings. Notching a 54-hole total of 222 (+6) 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 also concluded the fall’s All-Ohio Invitational in third.

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, announced 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 122 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.

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 also 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-America 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 15-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
The Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will mark the end of the Buckeye’s regular season slate. After wrapping up competition at home, Ohio State will travel to the Big Ten championships in Madison, Wis., April 23-25.

Following the league tournament, the Buckeyes will look to secure a slot at their 16th-consecutive NCAA regional, May 6-8, with the NCAA announcing the field April 26. The top eight squads from each regional will then compete at the NCAA championship, May 18-21, in Wilmington, N.C.