COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25 Ohio State women’s golf team will face a quick turnaround when it travels to Parrish, Fla., for the Central District Invitational Monday and Tuesday. Teeing off against another competitive field, the Buckeyes will compete at the par 72, 6,099-yard River Wilderness Country Club.
Hosted by Michigan State, the two-day, 54-hole tournament will feature 15 talented squads from around the country. The tournament will commence with 36 holes Monday and 18 holes Tuesday with action beginning with an 8 a.m. (ET) shotgun start both days.
Name: Central District Invitational
Course: River Wilderness Country Club (par 72, 6,099 yards)
Field: 15 teams (Golfweek rankings)
Iowa State (27)
Kent State (37)
Michigan State (19)
Notre Dame (20)
Ohio State (25)
Monday, Feb. 21: 36 holes (8 a.m. (ET) shotgun start)
Tuesday, Feb. 22: 18 holes (8 a.m. (ET) shotgun start)
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the tournament 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 Buckeyes are also on Twitter at twitter.com/OhioState_WGolf.
Student-athletes representing Ohio State in Florida include senior In Hong Lim, junior Vicky Villanueva and sophomores Rachel Rohanna, Amy Meier and Susana Benavides. The tournament will mark the sixth-competitive event of the season for Lim, Villanueva, Rohanna and Meier and the fifth for Benavides.
The Buckeyes making the trip are the same five that helped Ohio State to a ninth-place finish at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Feb. 14-16).
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Of the 15 teams competing, the Buckeyes have already faced Michigan State, Notre Dame, TCU, Kent State, Northwestern, Iowa State, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan during their 2010-11 slate. At some point in the season, Ohio State placed higher than TCU, Northwestern, Iowa State, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan.
There will also be some familiar faces from the 2010 edition of the Central District Invitational. In addition to Ohio State, TCU, Michigan State, LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kent State, Northwestern, Missouri, Notre Dame and Michigan will be back for a rematch in 2011. Last year, the Buckeyes bested all returning teams with the exception of TCU and Michigan State.
A LOOK AT THE LINKS
Located in the Sarasota/Manatee county area, the private, member-owned River Wilderness Golf and Country Club borders the historic Manatee River. Designed by architect Ted McAnlis, the par 72, 6,099-yard course has a slope rating of 130 and a course rating of 74.1. Composed of Bermuda grass, the 150-acre course is a part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.
LAST TIME OUT
Shaving 10 strokes off their second round score, the Buckeyes moved up in the final day to finish the 2010 Central District Invitational in a tie for fifth at 898. Firing the Buckeyes’ low round of the tournament, Ohio State was led by sophomore Amy Meier who shot up into a tie for 14th after carding a round of 70. Also tying for 14th was senior In Hong Lim at 222.
Taking first by a 29-stroke margin, Florida sat atop the leaderboard in 2010 with a team score of 857 (-7). Sisters Isabelle and Marika Lendl tied for medalist honors for the Gators.
In the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings released Feb. 13, Ohio State was tabbed as the No. 25 team in the country. In the individual ratings, sophomore Rachel Rohanna is the 49th individual in the nation and is the fourth-highest player in the Big Ten.
The Central District Invitational will feature 11 teams in the Top 50 and five in the Top 25. LSU is the top squad competing with a No. 4 rating. The Tigers also post the No. 1 individual in the country in Megan McChrystal.
Weather conditions for the Central District Invitational appear to be ideal with highs expected in the upper 70s and lows hovering just below 60. With partly sunny skies and only a 10 percent chance of rain, the www.weather.com golf index is “very good” for both days of play.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN RECAP
After a three-month hiatus, Ohio State opened the spring slate at its own Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 14-16. Teeing off at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club, the Buckeyes concluded the competitive tournament in ninth with a team score of 929.
Leading for the Buckeyes was sophomore Amy Meier who tied for 16th at 224. Opening with a 1-under round of 70, Meier went on to fire back-to-back rounds of 77 en route to her Top 20 finish.
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 was 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 98 rounds and currently posts a stroke average of 75.35 after five events this season.
In only her second season with the Buckeyes, Rohanna, of Waynesburg, Pa., has seen action in 48 rounds. After participating in five events this season, she posts the lowest stroke average on the team at 74.57. 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.
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.
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.
After wrapping play at the Central District Invitational, 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.
The Buckeyes are led by sophomore co-captain Rachel Rohanna who currently posts a stroke-average of 74.57 after 14 rounds. Competing in five events, 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 75.35 after five 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.
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.
The Buckeyes will return to Florida March 6-7 for the SunTrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational in Gainesville.