Sept. 7, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s golf team will kick off the 2004-05 season with a trip up north to compete in the Lady Northern Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. The event will be held at the par 72 University of Michigan Golf Course (5,966 yards), site of the 2005 Big Ten Championships. First-round action is scheduled to begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start Saturday. The second round will follow with continuous play after the completion of the first round. The final round is slated for 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Live scoring and results will be available online at www.golfstat.com.
The field of 15 teams that will compete in the 2004 Lady Northern Invitational include all 11 Big Ten squads: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Midwest opponents Kent State, Missouri, Notre Dame and Oklahoma also join the pack.
LAST YEAR AT THE LADY NORTHERN
The Ohio State women’s golf team finished second at the 2003 Lady Northern Intercollegiate with a three-round total of 895 last season. The event was held at the par 72, 6,201-yard Ohio State University Scarlet Golf Course, site of the 2004 Big Ten Championships.
Ohio State senior Allison Hanna paced the Buckeyes for the second-consecutive tournament of the season as she posted a three-round total of two-over-par, 218. Hanna finished the tournament tied for first, to force a playoff with Janice Olivencia of Texas and Lisa Meldrum of Oklahoma.
In a playoff, Hanna was eliminated after the first hole. Olivencia went on to capture the individual crown as she defeated Meldrum on the second playoff hole.
Teammate Kristen White also turned in strong performances as she fired a final round of one-over-par, 73, to finish the tournament with a three-round total of 219.
Texas won the tournament with a total of 893.
2004 SEASON OUTLOOK
Therese Hession, Ohio State head coach, enters her 14th year at the helm of the Buckeye program. Hession is expecting her senior leaders to return for their strongest season yet and the underclassman to step up and compete for a spot in the lineup. The Buckeyes have not only been a constant competitor in the Big Ten but also are making an impact around the nation. The squad returns six letterwinners from last season, including four returning starters. Consistent play from the entire lineup will be one of the key factors in 2004-05.
SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST
Hession will look to Buckeye senior tri-captains Kristen White, Lindsay Knowlton and Emily Kuhfeld for leadership this season. White, a two-time National Golf Coaches Association Second Team All-American and three-time first team All-Big Ten selection, will highlight the Ohio State lineup. The 2002 Big Ten freshman of the year and 2003 conference player of the year, White will look to become the first golfer in Ohio State history to garner All-America honors three times. As a junior, she was second on the team with a 73.44 stroke average and competed in every round for the Buckeyes. White also tied the school mark she set the previous year with a 66 during the spring break trip in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., last season.
Knowlton, a three-year letterwinner, also returns for her senior season alongside White. She is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and was third on the squad last year with a 75.94 stroke average. Knowlton, who earned the Big Ten sportsmanship award last spring, will complete the one-two punch atop the Buckeye lineup.
“We are looking for strong performances from both of Kristen and Lindsay this year,” Hession said. “Both of them had really good summers and the team will look to them to be our leaders for sure.”
Kuhfled, a fifth-year senior, will look to compete for a spot in Hession’s lineup after a strong summer. Kuhfeld has seen limited competitive action in previous years but has been working hard on the course to improve her overall game.
“Emily had a pretty good summer as well,” Hession said. “She will be looking to bust into that starting lineup. She has been working very hard.”
Juniors Allyson Harvie and Jennifer Selfinger, both two-year letterwinners with NCAA championships experience, also return for the Buckeyes this season. Harvie participated in all 36 rounds last season while Selfinger competed in 16, including the Big Ten championships. Classmates Erin Borowiec and Brittany Adams also have experience under their belts and will be vying for a spot in the lineup. Sophomore Dana Je had a solid season in her rookie campaign. She competed in 20 rounds including the Big Ten and NCAA championships, and will be looking to return to the Buckeye lineup for a second season. “This is going to be the year to see who steps up,” Hession said. “There is a lot of opportunity out there and hopefully they will come ready to play. All of them have the ability to shoot under par on any given day. We’ll just have to see who can rise to the occasion.”
A NEW ADDITION
Freshman Carling Coffing is the only new face on Ohio State’s 2004-05 roster. Coffing, a native of Middletown, Ohio, was the state high school champion in 2002 and runner-up in 2003. She is expected to compete for a spot in the Ohio State lineup.
“Carling is an experienced junior golf performer and was able to play in a lot of ladies amateur events over the summer,” Hession said. “She is already starting to make the transition over to playing with more of the college players. She is going to be a welcome addition and has the ability as a freshman to get in the starting lineup.”
A CHALLENGING SCHEDULE
The 2004-05 schedule will once again be another challenge for the Buckeyes. Ohio State will kick off the season at the Lady Northern Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich., site of the 2005 Big Ten Championships. The NCAA Fall Preview is next on the slate and will be held in Sunriver, Ore. Oregon State will play host to the 2005 NCAA Championships in May.
The fall season will wrap up in October with a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Mercedes-Benz Championships and The Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C., a new event for the Buckeyes.
The spring will get started with the 10th anniversary of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, hosted by Ohio State in Palos Verdes, Calif. The Central District Invitational, Lady Gator Invitational, Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic also are featured on the spring schedule. The Buckeyes will gear up for postseason play with the Lady Buckeye Invitational on OSU’s Scarlet Course in April.
SHOOTING FOR TITLE NO. 4
Ohio State will be looking for its fourth-consecutive conference title at the Big Ten Championships April 22-24 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The event will be held at the University of Michigan Golf Course (5,996 yards).
“We are always eyeing that championship,” Hession said. “There are going to be some good teams in the Big Ten this year and we are going to have to play very well to win it. When you have finished as high as we have the last few years it’s hard to keep moving up,” Hession said. “Everybody thinks we are on our way down. Our team is anxious to prove them wrong.”
KEEPING THE STREAK ALIVE
Ohio State has made a school-record eight-consecutive NCAA championship berths. Only warm-weather schools Arizona, Arizona State and Stanford have made more consecutive appearances in the event. The Buckeyes are not only eying trip No. 9 to the event, but the squad also will be striving for another high finish. Nationally, Hession is expecting a lot of strong teams to be in the hunt for a national championship.
“It’s going to be interesting to see who will come out on top,” Hession said. “Arizona State will be much better and Southern California has a new recruit and some tough international players. They will be back on the track they were two years ago.
“We have a lot of players that have a good amount of experience,” Hession said. “We have our eyes on the national level and it is definitely one of our goals to make it back to Oregon State in the spring. We are looking forward to the preview. We will be learning.”
Seniors Lindsay Knowlton, Emily Kuhfeld and Kristen White will tri-captain the Buckeye squad this season.
The NGCA has teamed up with The Golf Channel to present the first nationally-televised weekly show highlighting college golf. College Golf Central will be hosted by Jennifer Mills and airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday nights on The Golf Channel.
The NGCA bi-weekly Coaches Polls – official polls of Division I, II and II of the NGCA and exclusive poll of College Central – will be unveiled during the broadcast. The first NGCA Coaches Poll is slated to be released Sept. 22.
2006 CHAMPIONSHIPS IN COLUMBUS
The NCAA has announced The Ohio State University will serve as the host institution for the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in 2006. The event will be played on the par 72 Scarlet Course (6,201 yards) in Columbus.
The Scarlet Course has played host to tournaments such as the Rolex Fall Preview, Big Ten championships and past NCAA championships. The venue played host to the men’s championships a record 10 times. In 1997, the Women’s Championship was played in Columbus for a third time. The site also played host to the Women’s 2000 East Regional and the 2002 Men’s Golf NCAA Championships.
Golf Digest has rated the Ohio State Scarlet Golf Course among the best collegiate facilities in the country.