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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s golf team looks to put the finishing touches on an already solid season as they make final preparations for the Big Ten Championships at the 2011 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate Tournament. The Buckeyes will welcome 10 teams to the par 71, 7,455-yard Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus April 23-24.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: Robert Kepler Intercollegiate
Course: The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course (par 71, 7,455 yards)
Field: 11 teams (Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, April 18)
Ball State
Dayton
Eastern Michigan
Illinois (13)
Iowa (14)
Kent State (37)
Miami (OH)
Minnesota
Ohio State (32)
Wisconsin
Xavier

Schedule:
Saturday, April 23 – First and second rounds, Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.
Sunday, April 24 – Final round, Tee times off Nos. 1 and 10 start at 8:30 a.m.

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 men’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com. Follow the Buckeyes on Twitter at twitter.com/OhioState_MGOLF.

HOW IT ALL WORKS
The event is hosted by Ohio State and consists of 54-holes of golf over two days of play. Saturday will open with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. and the first and second rounds will be played. Sunday also begins at 8:30 a.m. but golfers will begin with scheduled tee times and only one round of golf will take place.

Each team will have five golfers participating, but only the lowest four scores will count towards the team score.

THE LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes recently closed out play at the weather-shortened Illini Spring Classic. The 14-team field battled through cold temperatures and berating winds on the par 71, 7,018-yard Stone Creek Golf Club in Urbana, Ill., April 16-17.  Conditions were so poor that play was significantly slowed and tournament officials were forced to shorten the event from 54 to 36 holes.

Senior Bo Hoag once again led the effort for Ohio State, tying for 24th with a two-round total of 150 (+6). Junior Dan Charen wasn’t far off Hoag’s pace, tying for 31st place at 152 with Buckeye Brad Smith. The senior struggled through the opening round, but came back with the lowest score of the event for the Buckeyes with a 3-under 69 in the final stanza. Sophomore Jamie Sindelar and junior Alex Redfield rounded out the effort for Ohio State by firing totals of 157 and 158 to finish tied for 54th and 58th, respectively

THE STARTERS
Competing for the Buckeyes in the 5-count-4 tournament are seniors Bo Hoag, Brad Smith and Michael Cress. Joining the three is junior Dan Charen and sophomore Jamie Sindelar.

Also competing for Ohio State are seven individuals in Tanner Murphy, Evan Wood, Gary Quinn, Alex Redfield, Michael Kinkopf, Matt Turner and Zack Sobel.

SCOUTING THE FIELD
The Scarlet and Gray will welcome many familiar faces to the 2011 edition of the Kepler Intercollegiate, having already faced off against seven of the 11 teams this season. The Buckeyes have posted a 13-2 mark against those seven schools and is facing off against Ball State, Dayton and Iowa for the first time this season.

KEPLER TOURNAMENT NEWS AND NOTES
The Robert Kepler Intercollegiate began in 1969 and was named after famed head coach Robert Kepler, who guided the Buckeyes to nine NCAA Championship finishes in 12 years and a first-place finish in 1945. The late Kepler served as head coach from 1938-1965 and helped guide the legendary Jack Nicklaus to an individual NCAA title.

  • Ohio State has amassed the most titles of any participant with 23 victories. Big Ten rivals Indiana and Northwestern have each accrued four titles
  • Ohio State last won the team title in 2003
  • Since the tournament began, only 10 schools have won the title: Ohio State, Colorado, Indiana, Louisville, Northwestern, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), UNLV, Xavier and Eastern Michigan
  • The Scarlet Course has played host to the Kepler Intercollegiate 37 times in 40 years
  • The Scarlet Course became a par 71 following its redesign in 2005-06
  • A trio of records were set at the 2010 Kepler Intercollegiate as Charlotte’s Corey Nagy and Northwestern’s David Lipsky each carded scores of 4-under 67 in the second round. Tournament medalist Kevin Foley of Penn State set the mark for the lowest 54-hole total with an 8-under 205

GRASPING THE GREENS
The tournament will take place on the par 71, 7,455-yard Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club in Upper Arlington, Ohio, just two miles northwest of Ohio State’s main campus in Columbus. The Golf Club opened in 1938 and was designed by golf course architect Dr. Alister McKenzie. It remained relatively untouched for nearly 70 years before it was redesigned in 2005 under the direction of golfer and Ohio State alumnus Jack Nicklaus, who is considered by many to be one of the greatest golfers in history.

The Club actually features two courses-the Scarlet and the Gray-with Scarlet being the more challenging of the two measuring roughly 1,600 yards longer. The Scarlet Course has been home to a number of events at the amateur and professional level, including U.S. Open Qualifying, Nationwide Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational, a record 10 men’s NCAA championships, as well as the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate for the men’s team and Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational for the women’s team.

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY …
It has been an up-and-down week weather-wise in the Columbus area with temperatures ranging anywhere from the mid-40s to mid-60s and torrential downpours and thunderstorms pounded the region. The forecast looks as though it may still cause some problems for the weekend tournament.

Weather.com is predicting a 60 percent chance of thundershowers during the day Saturday with temperatures ranging into the upper-60s and winds reaching 15 mph. Things are not expected to be much better during the final round on Sunday as forecasters are again calling for a 60 percent chance of thundershowers with temperatures nearing 70 degrees. 

BUCKEYES ADD TWO
Donnie Darr, head coach of the 22nd-ranked Ohio State men’s golf team, announced the signing of two student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday. The Buckeyes welcome Ohio natives Bruce (Boo) Timko and Grant Weaver for the 2011-12 season.

Timko is from Girard, Ohio, and attends Canfield High School after two years at Warren JFK High School. He has been named team MVP, all-league and all-district all four seasons and captained the teams the last three years. Timko also earned all-state honors as a junior and senior after leading Canfield to back-to-back All American Conference titles and qualifying for the state tournament all four seasons.

Recognized as the Youngstown Vindicator’s Golf Performer of the Year the last three years, Timko set the Steel Valley all-time record for nine-hole average at 34.0 in conference matches. He also fired two nine-hole course records with a 32 at Copeland Hills and Kensington Golf Clubs. His four-year nine-hole scoring average was 36.4, with an 18-hole scoring average of 73.6.

Weaver is from Wooster, Ohio, and attends Waynedale High School. The 2010 Northern Ohio PGA player of the year, he was a four-year starter and helped Waynedale to Wayne County Athletic League championships each season. He was a two-time state runner-up and district medalist with an 18-hole stroke average of 70.8 his senior year.

Weaver earned four Daily Record Player of the Year honors, WCAL MVP awards and all-Ohio laurels and was a four-time state qualifier. Away from high school action, he posted three top-5 finishes on the AJGA and placed in the top 10 at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships and Calloway Jr. World. Weaver also was the 2010 PGA Junior Series champion at Penn State and the 2010 Good Park Junior Tournament champion.

FALL BALL
The first half of the Buckeyes’ schedule started off with a bang and provided some career highlights for a handful of golfers. Seniors Bo Hoag and Brad Smith were the only two to start in all five tournaments for Ohio State, and the pair each chipped in four rounds in the 60s. As a team, Ohio State posted 15 rounds in the 60s in five tournaments combined as compared to just 11 during the entire 2009-10 campaign.

The best individual performance of the fall came from sophomore Jamie Sindelar. In the opening tournament of the year, the Marshall Invitational, Sindelar led the Scarlet and Gray with a career-best second-place tie to go along with a career-low three-round total of 11-under 220. Not surprisingly, the Marshall Invitational was also the strongest team performance as Ohio State came away with a first-place finish and team score of 32-under par (273-274-273 – 820). The victory was the first under second-year head coach Donnie Darr and the two rounds of 273 were the lowest for Ohio State since the 2004-05 season.

The Buckeyes also posted a runner-up finish at the Windon Memorial Classic Sept. 26-27 with a team score of 3-over 855. The Buckeyes finished just one stroke behind Big Ten foe Michigan for the title, but defeated Northwestern, Minnesota and Penn State in the process.

AIM LOW
With five tournaments completed during the 2010 fall campaign, Ohio State has already eclipsed the number of rounds in the 60s from the 2009-10 season. Last year, the Buckeyes carded a total of 11 rounds in the 60s in 10 stroke-play tournaments. This fall, the Scarlet and Gray posted 15 rounds in the 60s to go along with a tournament title at the Marshall Invitational and a runner-up finish at the Windon Memorial Classic.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will take five days off before they head to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 2011 Big Ten Championships April 29 – May 1