April 12, 2006
Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
COLUMBUS, Ohio–The Ohio State men’s golf team returns to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend to compete in the 2006 Kepler Intercollegiate. The event, entering its 36th year of existence, will be played at the par 72, 7,159-yard Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin Ohio.
Practice rounds will be held Friday prior to the 54-hole event. Two rounds will be played Saturday followed by the final round Sunday. Teams will tee off at about 8:30 a.m. (ET) each day.
The tournament field will be comprised of 15 teams. Ball State, Indiana, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue, Akron, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Toledo, Wisconsin and Xavier make up the field along with the host Buckeyes.
Complete tournament results will be available on the internet at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com at the end of each day.
The OSU Lineup
Kyle Coconis, Kevin Grabeman and Jack Tyler will be competing as individuals for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State In Search of 24th Kepler Title
Since its first year in 1969, the Kepler Intercollegiate has been dominated by Ohio State with the Buckeyes winning 23 team titles. Ohio State will be in search of its 24th team title and second in the last three years the tournament has been held. The last time the Buckeyes captured the team title was in 2003 with a three-round total of 893.
A Glance At The Kepler
The Kepler was first played in 1969 and is named for the late Robert Kepler, who served as Ohio State’s golf coach from 1938 until 1965.
Since its inception, the Kepler has been won by just six schools – Ohio State, Indiana, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), UNLV and Xavier. The Buckeyes have won the title 23 times, including six-consecutive titles between 1974-79 and nine-consecutive between 1981-89.
The Kepler is normally played on The Ohio State University Scarlet Course. The 7,455-yard, par 72 course hosted the 1995 NCAA Championships, the 1997 NCAA Women’s Championships and the 2002 NCAA Men’s Championships. In 2004 the Scarlet Course once again played host to another major collegiate event as Ohio State welcomed the Big Ten Women’s tournament. In May of this year, the 2006 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships will be held at the OSU Scarlet Course. Because of renovations to the Scarlet Course over the last year, the 2006 Kepler Intercollegiate was moved to the Muirfield Village Golf Club.
Morris Williams Recap
The Ohio State men’s golf team finished 18th at the Morris Williams Tournament at the Morris Williams Golf Course in Austin, Texas, earlier this month. The Buckeyes shot a final round of 299 (+11) for a three-round total of 908 at the 6,636-yard, par-72 course. Oklahoma State won the tournament finishing 14-under-par at 283+283+284=850.
Junior Colin Biles tied for 32nd to lead the Buckeyes in individual play after shooting a third round of even-par to finish at 220 (74-74-72). Oscar Alvarez of Brigham Young University shot 7-under-par at 69+68+72=209 to finish as the tournament’s top individual finisher.
David Vallina from Ohio State finished in 43rd place after shooting 6-over-par 73+75+74=222.
Biles Leads Ohio State
Junior Colin Biles has four Top 20 finishes to his credit thus far. Biles tied for seventh at the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge and tied for sixth at the Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. Biles has played 27 rounds this year with a scoring average of 73.2. Newcomer Jack Tyler, a transfer from George Washington and a native of Novi, Mich., tied for 10th in the season opener at Inverness.
This season, the Buckeyes return a group large in size but with limited experience. The Buckeyes lost only one player to graduation from a year ago, but that player was senior captain and All-Big Ten performer, Scott Anderson, a ninth-place finisher at the 2005 NCAA Central Regional Championship.
Ohio State is led by top returnee Colin Biles, a junior who in 2004-05 held a scoring average of 73.2 and recorded five Top 15 finishes. Biles led the Buckeyes in scoring in five of the 10 tournaments played last season, including a team season low round of 65 in the final round of the Schenkel Invitational March 20. Biles, trailing only Anderson, played 31 rounds last season and recorded his best finish, a tie for fourth, at the Landfall Classic.
The Buckeyes also return Michael Haverfield, a sophomore who came on strong last spring and became a fixture in the Ohio State rotation for the six spring tournaments. Haverfield played 21 rounds for the Buckeyes, holding a 75.28 scoring average. His best finish came at the Marshall Invitational, where he placed in a tie for 19th. With a wealth of newcomers in the upcoming season, Brown figures to rely heavily on the second-year player from Louisville, Ky.
Also returning for the Scarlet and Gray will be redshirt freshman Kevin Grabeman. Although he was held out of competition last season, he will be in the mix for a Top 5 spot come fall.
Others returning players looking to crack the Top 5 include Nate Strong, Peter Riddell, Jared Jones, and David Vallina.
Ohio State welcomes three newcomers to the roster this season; freshmen Dan Rush and Brandon Markiw, along with transfer Jack Tyler.
Rush, an AJGA All-American, was a member of two state championship teams at St. Ignatius (Ohio) High School in 2002 and 2003. Rush held a 2004 scoring average of 71.0 and was the medalist in an impressive 12 tournaments. In the other six tournaments, he placed second five times and third once. Rush was named to the All-Ohio team and set two St. Ignatius 18-hole scoring records.
Markiw comes to Ohio State with an impressive resume as well. The Edmonton, Alberta native placed runner up in the 2004 Alberta High School Championship as well as the CPGA Provincial Jr. Championship. Markiw won the Alberta Open with a two round score of 138 and was a six-time CJGA (Canadian Junior Golf Association) tournament winner.
The last newcomer of the group, Jack Tyler, comes to Ohio State after two years of competition at George Washington University. In his first collegiate event, Tyler posted a first-round 69 en route to a 10th place finish among 74 individuals. Tyler posted nine Top 15 finishes at George Washington including a first place score of 144 at the 2004 Rehoboth Beach Fall Invitational. In his sophomore season, Tyler played in 14 tournaments and held a scoring average of 74.98. Tyler hails from Novi, Mich., where he was the Michigan state runner-up in 2002.
Ohio State has added six new tournaments to the schedule this season, which began Sept. 19-20 with the Inverness Invitational in Toledo. Ohio State then traveled to Chicago, to take part in the Big Ten / Pac-10 Challenge Oct. 3-4. Other new destinations for the Buckeyes included the trip to the Duke Intercollegiate and travel to The Prestige at PGA West, the Lexus Intercollegiate and the Morris Williams Invite.
“This is the best schedule I’ve had in 33 years at Ohio State,” Brown said. “The fields are so deep and so competitive. We always try to play a tough schedule because you have to see where you stand. It is important to play tough competition. And we expect to do well. You don’t get any points for showing up. We have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
The Big Ten Championships will be held in Chicago, April 28-30.
Scarlet on the Mend
The Ohio State Scarlet golf course is currently in the midst of a year-long construction overhaul. It is on schedule to re-open for the women’s NCAA tournament in May of 2006. Former Buckeye and PGA great Jack Nicklaus is over seeing the construction process.
“If it’s not the No. 1 collegiate course in the country after reconstruction, I’d be disappointed,” Brown said. “They’ve been working on the condition of the greens, the placement of bunkers, the length, and are even constructing a new practice facility. We are very happy that Jack is doing this project and his goal is to make it the best college course in the nation. They’ve done a lot of extra things and I’m sure they’ll be showing off this course to the rest of the country. It’s making great progress and we are very excited to see how it turns out.”
Meet Coach Brown
Now in his 33rd year as the Buckeyes’ head coach, Jim Brown has built the Ohio State golf into one of the finest and most respected collegiate programs in the nation.
The numbers are impressive. Under Brown’s guidance, the Buckeyes have qualified for the NCAA tournament 30 times, 11 times finishing in the Top 10, while claiming one national championship in 1979.
Ohio State also has dominated Big Ten play, winning 23 conference titles. The Buckeyes claimed their 23rd title in 2004 with a five stroke victory over Illinois. Ohio State also claimed the team title at the 2004 Marshall Invitational to give Brown 156 tournament wins during his tenure.
When the Buckeyes won the national title in 1979, it marked the first time in nearly two decades a northern school claimed the championship. Brown proved the 1979 season was no fluke as the program finished fourth in the NCAA’s in 1980, 1983, 1987, and again in 1997.
Brown earned National Coach-of-the-Year honors in both 1979 and 1986, and was named District IV Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons from 1977 through 1980 and again from 1982 through 1987. Most recently, Brown was named 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. Prior to his 2004 Big Ten honor, Brown captured back-to-back coach of the honors in 1995 and 1996.
Ohio State heads to the Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., April 22-23.