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Ohio State heads to California to host 16th-annual tournament

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a three-month hiatus, the Ohio State women’s golf team will kick off its spring slate when it hosts the 16th edition of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge Mon.-Weds. Teeing off against a competitive field which includes two of the Top 3 teams in the country, the Buckeyes will compete at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes, Calif.

The three-day, 54-hole tournament will begin with 8:30 a.m. (PT) tee times Monday and Tuesday and will conclude Wednesday with an 8 a.m start.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name:
Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge
Course: Palos Verdes Golf Club (par 71, 5,912 yards)
Field: 13 teams (Golfweek rankings)
Arizona State
Denver (39)
East Tennessee State
Florida (26)
Furman
Louisville (34)
Michigan State (18)
Ohio State (24)
Pepperdine (31)
UC – Irvine
UCLA (3)
USC (2)
Wake Forest (20)
Schedule:
Monday, Feb. 14: 18 holes (8:30 a.m. PT tee times)
Tuesday, Feb. 15: 18 holes (8:30 a.m. PT tee times)
Wednesday, Feb. 16: 18 holes (8 a.m. PT tee times)

KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the tournament will be available at http://golfstat.com/.  A link to the tournament will also be available at the women’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.   The Buckeyes are also now on Twitter at twitter.com/OhioState_WGolf.

THE LINE-UP
Student-athletes representing Ohio State in California include sophomores Rachel Rohanna, Susana Benavides and Amy Meier, junior Vicky Villanueva and senior In Hong Lim. Competing as an individual, junior Nara Shin will also make the trip.

The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge will mark the fifth competitive event of the season for Rohanna, Meier, Villanueva and Lim and the fourth for Benavides. The tournament will be Shin’s first outing of the season.

SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Teeing off against some of the top teams in the nation, the Buckeyes will dive right into their competitive schedule, as the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge will feature six squads ranked in the Top 25 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.

Of the competing teams, the Buckeyes have already faced six squads. Ohio State placed higher than Denver, Louisville and UC-Irvine, but was edged by Michigan State, UCLA and Wake Forest.

BUCKEYES PAST AND PRESENT
Coming out of a three-month break, the Buckeyes had an opportunity to dust off some of the cobwebs with an alumni match-up Feb. 6 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Buckeyes making the trip included sophomores Amy Meier, Rachel Rohanna and Susanna Benavides and junior Vicky Villanueva. On the alumni side, Meg Mallon, Allison Hanna and Lisa Strom represented Ohio State, while Beth Daniel showcased her talents for Furman University.

Playing a best ball format, each current Buckeye had the opportunity to play with two different alumna at the par 72, 6,129-yard Wanderers Club.

A LOOK AT THE LINKS
The host of the 2011 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge will be the historic Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes, Calif. Built in 1924, the par 71, 5,912-yard course boasts a course rating of 70.4 and a slope of 131. Designed by architects George C. Thomas, Jr. and William Bell, the course was built to attract residents to the Palos Verdes area. In 2007, a two-year renovation of the clubhouse was completed.

LAST TIME OUT
At the 15th installment of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in 2010, the Buckeyes tied their best-ever finish at the tournament when the squad placed third with a total of 897. Leading Ohio State was former Buckeye Emma Jandel who tied for 12th after firing a 54-hole score of 223. Also in the Top 20 was than freshman Rachel Rohanna who tied for 19th at 225.

Competing against nationally ranked competition, the Buckeyes edged fourth place UCLA and defending NCAA champ Arizona State by a stroke.

Last year, Southern California held off regional foe Pepperdine to take the title at 24-over 876. The Waves were runner-up at 879, but found a medalist in Lisa McCloskey who finished with a 2-under 211.  

MAKING RANK
In the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings released Feb. 7, Ohio State was tabbed as the No. 24 team in the country. In the individual ratings, sophomore Rachel Rohanna is the 49th individual in the nation and is the third-highest ranked player in the Big Ten.

The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge will feature nine teams in the Top 50 and six in the Top 25. USC is the top squad competing with a No. 2 rating, while UCLA is close behind in the No. 3 slot.

Individually, defending tournament champion Lisa McCloseky, now of USC, is the highest-rated individual competing with a No. 4 ranking. McClosekey’s teammate, Lizette Salas, is No. 5 in the nation.

WEATHER FORECAST
With highs in the mid 60s and sunny skies, the http://www.weather.com/ golf index is “excellent” for Monday and “very good” for Tuesday. However, there is a 30 percent chance of showers for Wednesday. 

AYE, AYE CAPTAIN
Before concluding its fall slate, Ohio State elected sophomore Rachel Rohanna and senior In Hong Lim as its captains for the 2010-11 season. The pair were the only two Buckeyes to compete in all 34 rounds of play last year.
Lim, a native of Melbourne, Australia, is the lone senior on the squad this year. In her time at Ohio State, she has competed in 96 rounds and currently posts a stroke average of 74.50 after four events this season.

In only her second season with the Buckeyes, Rohanna, of Waynesburg, Pa., has seen action in 45 rounds. After participating in four events this season, she posts the lowest stroke average on the team at 73.36. Rohanna opened the 2010-11 season with a second place finish at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational with a career-low total of 7-under 212.

FALL WRAP-UP
The Buckeyes didn’t waste any time getting back into the swing of things when they opened the 2010-11 season Sept. 17-18 with a runner-up finish at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational. Totaling 883 on the par 73, 6,187-yard University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque, the Buckeyes were led by sophomore co-captain Rachel Rohanna who concluded the tournament in second at 7-under 212.

In their second outing of the fall slate, the Buckeyes concluded the William K. Warren Irish Invitational (Oct. 2-3) in third.  Ohio State battled rain and cold for a score of 921 on the par 72, 6,079-yard Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.  Leading Ohio State was senior co-captain In Hong Lim who concluded the event tied for eighth, followed by junior Vicky Villanueva who finished in a tie for 21st.

Previewing their Big Ten course and competition, Ohio State also finished third at the Lady Northern Invitational. Held Oct. 11-12 on the par 72, 6,303-yard Lake Shore Country Club in Chicago, Ill., the Buckeyes posted a team score of 883. Lim collected the fourth Top 5 finish of her career with a career-low 54-hole score of 215 (-1).

The Buckeyes wrapped fall play in ninth at the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C. The Buckeyes fired a team score of 908 at the par 72, 6,242-yard Country Club at Landfall led by Rohanna who tied for ninth at 221.

SPRING FLING
Limited to indoor practice facilities for the past three months, the Buckeyes will jumpstart their spring schedule in February. After opening in California at the Northrop Grumman, Ohio State will take on the east coast at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 21-22) in Parrish, Fla.

From there, the Buckeyes will compete at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational (March 6-7) and the Bryan National Collegiate (March 25-27).  In April, the Buckeyes will tee off at the Liz Murphey Invitational (April 1-3) before returning home to defend the crown of their own Lady Buckeye Invitational (April 16-17).

The Big Ten Championships (April 22-24) will mark the start of postseason play for Ohio State who will look to secure its 17th-consecutive NCAA regional appearance.

CRUNCHING NUMBERS
Heading into spring play, the Buckeyes are led by sophomore co-captain Rachel Rohanna who currently posts a stroke-average of 73.36 after 11 rounds. Competing in four events on the Buckeyes’ fall slate, the Waynesburg, Pa., native has carded four rounds under par so far this season. Close behind is fellow co-captain senior In Hong Lim who has tallied an average of 74.50 after four events.

HESSION SIGNS TWO
After wrapping the fall slate, head coach Therese Hession signed two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The Buckeyes will welcome Kendall Prince and Chantakan Chanpalangsri for the 2011-12 season.

Prince is from Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she attends Lakeridge High School. She is a three time first-team all-state and first-team all-league selection as well as a Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) First Team All-American in 2010. Prince was the FCWT Co-Player of the Year for the West Region in 2010 after winning four of five tournaments that season. She also picked up her first AJGA win in Wenatchee, Wash., after rounds of 71-73-72 to win by three strokes.

At Lakeridge High School, Prince was undefeated during the 2010 regular season to earn the Three Rivers League Player of the Year award. She was district champion that year, never shot over par the entire season and was runner-up in the Oregon state championship after a third-place finish in 2009. Lakeridge finished third as a team in 2010 and second in 2009. Prince has earned a total of eight letters in high school while also competing in soccer and basketball.

Chanpalangsri is originally from Bangkok, Thailand, but attends St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Fla. She fired rounds of 68-69 to claim the 2010 Florida State High School title. Chanpalangsri also had two runner-up finishes during AJGA action in 2010, taking second at the Golf Pride Junior Classic and at the Accusport Championship after closing with a 68.

COACHES CORNER
The 2010-11 season marks the 20th 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 16-consecutive NCAA regional appearances. Hession is an NGCA Hall of Famer and six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will face a quick turnaround when they head to Parrish, Fla., for the Central District Invitation Feb. 21-22.