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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s golf team moved into sixth place on the final day of stroke play competition Thursday at the 2011 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in Stillwater, Okla. The Buckeye’s third-round score of 297 brought their three-day total to 887 (+23) on the par 72, 7,407-yard Karsten Creek golf course.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to play in match play,” Donnie Darr, head men’s golf coach, said. “The group of seniors competing for us has worked so hard and they deserve the chance to continue on. I have been telling them all year we’re going to end the season this Sunday and they believe they are capable. It is great to see their confidence grow.”

By finishing in the top eight, the Scarlet and Gray have earned the right to move on to the match play portion of the Championship. All eight teams will square off in matches of two on Friday, with the winner advancing to the final four and the loser being eliminated. Four matches will take place Friday, two Saturday and the final Sunday. The last team standing at the end of match play will be the national champion.

In fitting fashion, Ohio State faces host Oklahoma State who entered the tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation and were second-year head coach Darr’s former team where he served as assistant coach for three seasons. Tee times are set for 1:15 p.m. ET from the first tee box.

“We are looking forward to play Oklahoma State on its home course,” Darr said. “It is going to be a great day out there tomorrow and we are excited to see what happens.”

The Buckeyes are on their way to have the team’s best finish since 1998 since the squad secured a top eight spot. Ohio State finished sixth at the conclusion of the championships that season under former head coach Jim Brown.

UCLA overcame a small deficit to take first place in stroke play portion of the event with a team score of 872 (+8), followed closely by Georgia Tech at 875 (+11). John Peterson of LSU had the low score of the event, firing a 211 (-5) to finish one stroke ahead of UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay at 212 (-4).

Ohio State was led by the effort of Brad Smith, who closed out the day in a tie for 17th place. The senior’s 1-over 73 brought his three-round total to 219 (+3). Alex Redfield matched Smith’s effort, also notching a 1-over 73 to end stroke play on a high note. The junior’s total score of 222 (+6) was good for a 32nd-place tie.

Bo Hoag finished just behind teammate Redfield in a tie for 38th place. Hoag, a senior, fired a 5-over 77 to bring his final score to 223 (+7). Right along with Hoag was fellow senior Michael Cress in a tie for 50th. Cress’s third-round score of 3-over 75 brought his total score to 224 (+8). Junior Dan Charen also chipped in a solid round for the Buckeyes, posting a 4-over 76 to finish at 248.

NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship – Round 3
Karsten Creek, Stillwater, Okla.
Par 72, 7,407 yards

Team Results
1. UCLA 286-288-298 – 872 (+8)
2. Georgia Tech 283-290-302 – 875 (+11)
T-3. Illinois 291-287-301 – 879 (+15)
T-3. Oklahoma State 292-293-294 – 879 (+15)
5. Georgia 291-288-305 – 884 (+20)
6. Ohio State 291-299-297 – 887 (+23)
7. Augusta State 294-294-300 – 888 (+24)
8. Duke 303-293-293 – 889 (+25)
9. Texas A&M 289-301-300 – 890 (+26)
T-10. Iowa 304-292-296 – 892 (+28)
T-10. Michigan 307-292-293 – 892 (+28)
T-12. Southern California 303-289-303 – 895 (+31)
T-12. Texas 299-301-295 – 895 (+31)
14. Alabama 288-292-316 – 896 (+32)
15. Arkansas 296-298-303 – 897 (+33)
T-16. San Diego State 295-301-302 – 898 (+34)
T-16. San Diego 300-304-294 – 898 (+34)
18. Arizona State 303-293-303 – 899 (+35)
T-19. California 300-299-303 – 902 (+38)
T-19. Kent State 304-302-296 – 902 (+38)
21. LSU 306-294-305 – 905 (+41)
22. Northwestern 306-296-304 – 906 (+42)
23. Florida 300-299-309 – 908 (+44)
24. Tennessee 308-299-303 – 910 (+46)
25. Pepperdine 309-310-300 – 919 (+55)
26. Kennesaw State 295-312-314 – 921 (+57)
27. North Carolina State 310-308-304 – 922 (+58)
28. Oklahoma 313-304-313 – 930 (+66)
29. Arizona 301-310-321 – 933 (+69)
30. Colorado State 307-322-308 (+73)

Ohio State Results
T-17. Brad Smith 72-74-73 – 219 (+3)
T-32. Alex Redfield 74-75-73 – 222 (+6)
T-38. Bo Hoag 71-75-77 – 223 (+7)
T-50. Michael Cress 74-75-75 – 224 (+8)
T-148. Dan Charen 90-82-76 – 248 (+32)