Feb. 1, 2005
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Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s golf team returns to action at the 2005 Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday. The University of Florida will play host to the two-day event at the par 70, 6,701-yard University of Florida Golf Course.
The Buckeyes enter the event in the hopes of capturing their first ever Gator Invitational crown.
Ohio State will tee off at 8 a.m. and play 36-holes during day one. Final round competition begins at 8 a.m. Sunday.
The Ohio State Lineup
Noting the 2004 Fall Season
-The Buckeyes top finish of the fall campaign came at the Barona Cup where the squad finished fifth out of 14 teams with a total score of 845.
-The three-round total of 845 at the Barona Cup marked the lowest total of the fall season.
-The Buckeyes opened the season with at the SMU Invitational where the first two rounds of the tournament were canceled because of rain.
-Eight Buckeyes saw action during the fall with Scott Anderson, Colin Biles and Zach Randol tying for the team lead in rounds played with 10 apiece.
-The Buckeyes averaged 293.5 strokes per round as a team.
-Sophomore Jamie Miller made his Ohio State debut at the Landfall Tradition where he posted a three-round total of 224.
Last Time Out
The Ohio State men’s golf team finished sixth with a score of 869 at the Landfall Tradition. The event was held at the par 72 Jack Nicklaus Course in Wilmington, N.C., and hosted by North Carolina Wilmington.
Ohio State sophomore Colin Biles led the men’s team with a tie for fourth place individually, shooting 210 (-6). Scott Anderson tied for seventh place with a score of 211 (-7).
Recapping The 2004 Gator Invitational
The Ohio State men’s golf team finished in 13th place at the 2004 Gator Invitational. The two-day event was held at the par 70, 6,701-yard University Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.
Zach Doran paced the Buckeyes as he fired a final-round score of 72 and tied for 15th. Doran finished the tournament with a three-round total of 217, which marked his second lowest showing of the 2003-04 season.
The Buckeyes also received a strong performance from freshman Colin Biles as he tied for 20th.
Ohio State Inks Top Recruit
Jim Brown, Ohio State men’s golf head coach, announced the signing of St. Ignatius High School senior Dan Rush. Rush, who will come to Columbus from Avon Lake, Ohio is the first addition of 2005-06 freshman class that will attend Ohio State in the fall.
Rush comes to Ohio State after an impressive senior season at St. Ignatius where he finished eighth at the 2004 Ohio High School Athletics Association State Golf Tournament en route to All-Ohio and All-District honors. In addition to his Top 10 finish at the state tournament, Rush set numerous school records in scoring average, rounds under par and medalist honors. Rush also was a member of two St. Ignatius state championship teams in 2001 and 2002.
Along with his accolades at the high school level, Rush also excelled while competing in the American Junior Golf Association where he was a Rolex All-American after posing a victory at the 2004 AJGA Memorial Junior Tournament at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course. In the last two years, Rush has posted medalist honors in six national tournaments over the past two years.
“We are very excited Dan has decided to become a Buckeye,” Brown said. “Dan is a wonderful student with a great talent for the game of golf. Above all else, he is an outstanding person who comes from a tremendous family. We look for him to make a dynamic impact on our program over the next four years.”
Rain Rain Go Away
The fall season saw the Ohio State men’s golf team in a battle against the golf course and the elements.
During the fall, the opened the season with a 10th-place finish at the 2004 SMU Invitational, however rounds one and two of the event were cancelled because of rain.
The following week at the Gary Koch Invitational, the Buckeyes once again endured rainy conditions as the second round of the event was postponed until the final day.
A trip to San Diego, Calif., did not keep the rain away either as they endured rainy conditions that delayed the start of final round play.
Noting The Buckeyes
Scott Anderson – Posted his best finish of the fall season at the Landfall Tradition as he tied for seventh with three-round total of 211 … at the Barona Collegiate Cup he a carded a total of 208 to tie for ninth-place … paced the Buckeyes as he tied for 14th at the 2004 Gary Koch Intercollegiate with a three-round total of 220 … opened the 2004-05 season at the 2004 SMU Invitational tying for 14th with an 18-hole total of 72.
Zack Randol – Carded a 209 and finished 14th at the 2004 Barona Collegiate Cup … tied for 62nd at the 2004 Gary Koch Intercollegiate with a three-round total of 231 … opened the season and competed for the first time since the 2002-03 season at the 2004 SMU Invitational … during the event, he posted an 18-hole score of 74.
Jared Jones – Opened with a first-round 80 at the 2004 Gary Koch Intercollegiate, but withdrew from the final two rounds of the tournament … opened the season at the 2004 SMU Invitational with an 18-hole total of 74.
Nate Strong – Tied for 48th at the 2004 Gary Koch Intercollegiate with a three-round total of 228.
Jamie Miller – Saw his first career action as a Buckeye at the Landfall Tradition tying for 39th with a three-round total of 224.
Colin Biles – Concluded the fall season on a high note at the Landfall Tradition as he finished with a three round of 210 to tie for fourth … posted his best round of the fall season at the 2004 Barona Collegiate Cup where he posted a 210 tying him for 15th … tied for 59th at the 2004 Gary Koch Intercollegiate as he posted a three-round total of 232 … opened the season at the 2004 SMU Invitational and posted an 18-hole total of 79.
Peter Riddell – Opened the 2004-05 season at the 2004 Barona Collegiate Cup tying for 47th (218).
David Vallina – Saw his first action of the season at the 2004 Barona Collegiate Cup where he posted a total of 224.
This season, the Buckeyes return eight players from a year ago. The returnees combined for 77 rounds, 5,508 strokes and a scoring average of 71.5. Leading the way for the Buckeyes this season will be Scott Anderson, who will serve as team captain, four years after he came to Ohio State as a walk-on.
Anderson entered his senior season with more experience than any other Ohio State golfer and hopes to lead the team to back-to-back Big Ten titles. During the 2003-04 season, Anderson, competed in 33 rounds and posted 2,446 strokes with a scoring average of 74.1 and three Top 10 finishes.
“Scott Anderson really came along last season and the NCAA regional championships he was our best player no doubt about it,” Jim Brown, Ohio State men’s golf coach, said.
The Buckeyes also return sophomore Colin Biles, who a year ago posted an impressive rookie campaign as he recorded a scoring average of 74.1 in 26 rounds of play. During those 26 rounds, Biles finished in the Top 15 three times en route to Ohio State freshman of the year honors.
“Colin is a quality player and I expect big things from him this season. Between Scott and Colin they are the guys who need to lead us this season because they are the ones who have experience.”
Along with Anderson and Biles, Ohio State returns a two of individuals, in Jared Jones and Nate Strong, both of whom saw time during the 2003-04 season.
Zach Randol also could push for a Top 5 spot as he returns from a wrist injury, which caused him to miss most of the 2003-04 season. Two years ago, Randol competed in 22 rounds compiling a scoring average of 74.4.
The Ohio State men’s golf team welcomes two freshmen to the squad in Michael Haverfield and Kevin Grabeman
Grabeman enters the 2004 season after an impressive 2003 campaign that saw him post first-place finishes at the Kiawah Island Championship and the Optimist District Qualifier. Grabeman also posted a strong performance at the 2003 Harbor Town Championships, where he finished fourth and at the 2003 Kroger Championships, where he finished 15th. At Springboro High School, Grabeman earned all-state, all-area and team MVP honors during his senior year.
Haverfield also enters his freshman season with an impressive resume. In two years while competing in the American Junior Golf Association, Haverfield posted nine Top 20 performances, including a first-place finish at the 2002 McDonald’s All-American Tournament in 2002. Haverfield also posted strong performances at the 2002 Junior Classic at The Pines, where he tied for second and at the 2002 Kroger Junior Invitational, where he tied for ninth. Haverfield’s St. Xavier High School, twice finished as state champions.
“They are both good kids and they wanted to come to Ohio State,” Brown said. “They were both selected as All-Americans on their respective tours and they have a lot of experience, which is something that you are starting to see in a lot of high school players these days. The thing I know about all the freshmen we have coming in is that they all want to be good golfers and they want to play golf, which is always a positive sign.”
The Ohio State men’s golf team returns to many of the same locations it visited during the 2003-04 season, including a return visit to the St. Croix Classic, however the team will not return to the Matlock Classic, a tournament in which the Buckeyes have competed in over the past two seasons.
“Our schedule is very competitive and will let the team know where we stand after the fall season,” Brown said. “We are playing in tournaments with great teams and as always seek great competition for our team. It allows us to travel to different parts of the United States, which is what we try to do each year.”
Things to Keep an Eye on During The 2004-05 Season
A repeat performance- Last season the Ohio State men’s golf team captured its first Big Ten title since the 1996-97 season. This season the Buckeyes will be gunning for back-to-back titles in Madison, Wis., which will play host to the 2005 Big Ten Championships this season.
Staying In Contention- Over the past two seasons, the Ohio State men’s golf team has been a model of consistency by finishing in a tournament Top 5, 13 times. Last season, the Buckeyes finished in the Top 5 seven times including two first-place finishes.
The lineup- This season Ohio State returns only two individuals from the Buckeyes Big Ten championship team from a year ago, setting up the possibility of the squads Top 5 changing from week-to-week.
“We have always had good teams when we have good competition among the team and have guys that will step up,” Brown said.
Meet Coach Brown
Now in his 32nd 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 162 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. He also coached the NCAA All-Star Team that competed in Japan in 1979 and the 1999 Palmer Cup team that defeated a team of top collegiate players from Great Britain and Ireland.
Golf hasn’t been the only thing on Coach Brown’s mind during his tenure at OSU. Brown takes great pride in the fact that his golfers are student-athletes in the truest sense of the word. In fact, only three athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have not received degrees, during Brown’s 31-year tenure.
His greatest personal achievement, however, came in 1989, when he was elected to the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame. Two years later, he was inducted into The Ohio State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Brown also was inducted into the Martins Ferry High School Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994.
Brown has long been a leader in college golf, serving as president of the National Golf Coaches Association from 1990 to 1992. He served on the NCAA’s Executive Golf Committee from 1990-96. In addition, the Ohio State mentor has been a member of both the All-American Selection Committee and the NCAA District IV Selection Board.
The winningest coach in OSU golf history, Brown has tutored one NCAA individual champ (Clark Burroughs – 1985), 18 Big Ten medalists, 88 All-Big Ten selections, 11 first team All-Americans and 63 other All-America honorees during his stay on the Columbus campus.
A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, Brown is a 1966 Ohio State graduate. He played both basketball and golf for the Buckeyes, earning three letters in each sport. Captain of the OSU golf squad as a senior, Brown began his coaching career in 1967 at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., and in 1969 moved to Kent State.
Brown, who served as the head golf coach and assistant basketball coach at Kent State, left there in 1973 to become the ninth golf coach in Ohio State history. Jim and his wife Tina have been married for eight years and together the couple has five children. Tina has three children, a son David Lankard, who is an OSU graduate and two daughters, Cheryl Turnbull and Anne Marie Moore, both of whom are gradated from Miami Ohio. Brown has two children Julie, who is an OSU graduate, and Jeff, a former member of the Ohio State golf team and an OSU graduate.
The Ohio State men’s golf team returns to action Feb. 19-20 as it competes in the 2005 Arizona State Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz.