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All five Buckeyes finish in top 25 in final event before Big Ten championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s golf team closed out the regular season with a runner-up finish at the Boilermaker Invitational Sunday in West Lafayette, Ind. The Buckeyes placed second in the 12-team field with a score of 3-over 867 during the two-day, 54-hole tournament held on the par 72, 7,465 yard Kampen Course. Ohio State collected its third runner-up finish of the season and placed ahead of five conference opponents prior to the Big Ten championships next weekend.

After action was called Saturday before the second round was completed, the teams returned to the course Sunday to finish before teeing off the final round. The Buckeyes posted their third-lowest team score of the season in round two with a 4-under 284 before tallying a final round of 295.

“The big thing is we’ve been playing pretty well all year, but haven’t been performing during tournaments.” Donnie Darr, first-year Ohio State head coach, said. “This weekend we played golf we’ve been playing at home; we didn’t do anything special and had a chance to win. We gained a lot of confidence moving into the Big Ten championships next week.”

The tournament champion was 11th-ranked Illinois with a team score of 854. The Fighting Illini were lead by tournament medalist Chris DeForest who fired a 10-under 206 to lead the field.

Junior Brad Smith provided the best performance of the year for Ohio State, placing second with the lowest 54-hole score by a Buckeye this season at 212 (-4). The Peru, Ind., native fired a final round of 1-under 71 to add to his previous rounds of 68 and 73.

Just off Smith’s pace was fellow junior Bo Hoag, who tied for seventh with a sum of 218. The Honorable Mention All-American from Upper Arlington, Ohio, began his day by finishing off the lowest round of the season by any Ohio State golfer with a 5-under 67 in the second round. He added a final round of 74 in the afternoon.

Following consecutive rounds of 75, senior Brad Wright notched an even-par 72 in the final round. The Cambridge, Ohio, native posted a 222 to finish in a tie for 18th with teammate Matt Turner. The rookie from Dubai shot a 73 in the second round, but struggled through the final 18 holes with 78.

Rounding out Ohio State’s lineup was freshman Zack Sobel, who posted a 1-under 71 in the second round but had a rocky final round as the Clearwater, Fla., native shot a 79 en route to a total of 224.

Ohio State will take a few days off before the team faces the rest of the conference in the 2010 Big Ten Championships hosted by Minnesota, April 30-May 2.

OF NOTE…

• Bo Hoag tied for the lead in par 3 scoring at 2-under while Brad smith finished at 1-under par in the same category
• Smith had the third-most birdies of any golfer with 12 for the tournament
• Zack Sobel was 3-under in par 5 scoring
• As a team, Ohio State was 7-under in par 5 scoring

Boilermaker Invitational – Final
Kampen Course, West Lafayette, Ind.
Par 72, 7,465 yards

Team Standings Scores
1. Illinois  279-288-287-854 (-10)
2. Ohio State  288-284-295-867 (+3)
3. Purdue  292-289-299-880 (+16)
4. Indiana  293-297-291-881 (+17)
5. Toledo  291-291-300-882 (+18)
6. Northwestern 293-296-301-890 (+26)
7. Iowa   291-300-301-892 (+28)
8. Wisconsin  303-291-304-898 (+34)
T-9. Miami (Ohio) 294-294-312-900 (+36) 
T-9. Akron  302-291-307-900 (+36)
11. Eastern Michigan 301-301-303-905 (+41)
12. Northern Illinois 295-301-324-920 (+56)

Ohio State Results Scores
2. Brad Smith  68-73-71-212 (-4)
T-7. Bo Hoag  77-67-74-218 (+2)
T-18. Brad Wright 75-75-72-222 (+6)
T-18. Matt Turner 71-73-78-222 (+6)
T-25. Zack Sobel 74-71-79-224 (+8)