Buckeyes make first appearance at national championships since 2005, play May 19-22 in Baltimore
COLUMBUS, Ohio Making its first national tournament appearance since 2005, the Ohio State women’s golf team will compete at the NCAA championships, May 19-22, in Owing Mills, Md. Hosted by Georgetown University, the Buckeyes will tee off on the par 72, 6,443-yard Caves Valley Golf Course.
The four-day, 72-hole event will begin Tuesday will 18 holes to be played each day. Tee times will begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. Ohio State tee times are 7:40-8 a.m. off of No. 1 Tuesday and 12-12:40 p.m. Wednesday off of No. 10. Tee times for the next two rounds are determined by team standings.
Name: 2009 NCAA Championships
Course: Caves Valley Golf Club (par 72, 6,443 yards)
Field: 24 teams, 6 individuals
East Region: Individuals:
1. Denver 1. Stephanie Connelly, UCF
2. Alabama 2. Marina Alex, Vanderbilt
7. North Carolina
Central Region: Individuals:
1. UCLA 1. Kendall Dye, Oklahoma
2. Purdue 2. Cindy LaCrosse, Louisville
3. Wake Forest
4. Oklahoma State
5. Michigan State
6. New Mexico
7. Ohio State
West Region: Individuals:
1. Arizona State 1. Alice Kim, UC Davis
2. Southern California 2. Cathryn Bristow, Oregon
5. UC Irvine
Tuesday, May 19: 18 holes (7:30 a.m. tee times)
Wednesday, May 20: 18 holes (7:30 a.m. tee times)
Thursday, May 21: 18 holes (7:30 a.m. tee times)
Friday, May 22: 18 holes (7:30 a.m. tee times)
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 Ohio State women’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
On Thursday and Friday, holes No. 16, 17 and 18 will be streamed live at www.ncaa.com.
Buckeyes competing for a national crown include senior co-captain Gemma Webster, senior Jessica Hauser, junior co-captain Emma Jandel, sophomore In Hong Lim and freshman Vicky Villanueva.
The OSU group traveling to Maryland is no stranger to postseason play as all five previously competed at both the Big Ten championships, where they finished third, and NCAA Central Regional, where they placed seventh.
HOW IT WORKS
Featuring 126 student-athletes, the four-day NCAA championships will consist of four 18-hole rounds, for a total of 72 holes. In team competition, the low four scores for each squad will count in each day’s total score. There is no cut at the tournament.
The national championships will mark only the second time that the Buckeyes will play a 72-hole setup. Ohio State played a similar format at the Big Ten championships, where the squad placed third with a score of 1,255.
STAYING ON COURSE
Located just outside Baltimore, Md., the par 72, 6,443-yard Caves Valley Golf Club opened in July of 1991. Composed of bent grass, the Tom Fazio designed course has been referred to “a golfer’s club.” Featuring rolling fairways and quick greens, the course also played host to the 2002 U.S. Senior Open.
After clenching a seventh-place finish and trip to nationals at the NCAA Central Regional, Ohio State jumped one position in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings to sit in the 26th slot. Heading into the NCAA championships, the Buckeyes have maintained their Top 30 ranking for 13-consecutive weeks.
Sophomore In Hong Lim, who led the Buckeyes at the regional tournament, is currently the 66th individual in the nation.
The ratings is a mathematical system which uses factors such as schedule strength, records, number of events played, power rating, and schedule ranking to determine the position of each team.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
A showcase for the best collegiate talent in the nation, the NCAA championships will feature 24 teams from around the country. Of the teams competing, 21 join Ohio State in the Top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
Playing a competitive schedule, the Buckeyes have already teed off against 20 of the participating teams and at one point this season placed higher than Virginia, Georgia, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Chattanooga, TCU and Texas.
BUCKEYES AT REGIONALS
Making their 15th-consecutive regional appearance on their own par 72, 6,246-yard Scarlet Course, the Buckeyes carded a team score of 917 at the NCAA Central Regional to finish seventh. After opening with a round of 306, the Buckeyes had their lowest round of the season when they improved by 13 strokes in the second day with a score of 293. Competing against strong winds, the Buckeyes fired a third round score of 318 to clench their spot on the NCAA championship field.
The Buckeyes were led by sophomore In Hong Lim who cared a three-day total of 229 to tie for 20th. One stroke back from Lim were co-captains Emma Jandel and Gemma Webster who tied for 27th at 230.
CENTRAL REGIONAL ACTION
In addition to the Buckeyes, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Michigan State, New Mexico, and Chattanooga all advanced to nationals from the NCAA Central Regional.
Top-seeded UCLA maintained its lead over the 21-team field from start to finish, taking the title by 19 strokes. Battling windy conditions on the final day, the Bruins carded a final round of 303 to win the event at 877 (+13).
UCLA was led by medalist Maria Jose Uribe who carded a final round of 73 to win the event by a score of 4-under 212. One stroke back from Uribe was teammate Stephanie Kono who closed with a 74.
Also in the Top 3 of the field were Purdue at 896 and Wake Forest at 899.
In individual action, there was a one-hole playoff for the second individual slot between Cindy Lacrosse of Louisville and Sara Wikstrom of Arkansas-Little Rock. Competing on the No. 1 hole, Lacrosse made par to join Kendall Dye of Oklahoma for a trip to nationals.
FROM EAST TO WEST
In NCAA East Regional action, No. 13 Denver captured the crown with a team score of 862. The Pioneers were led by Dawn Shockley who carded a 54-hole score of 1-under 279 to take medalist honors on the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla. A few strokes back from Denver was Alabama with a team score of 866.
Also clenching a trip to the NCAA championships from the East were the squads from Tennessee, Virginia, Tulane, Duke, North Carolina and Georgia.
Out West, No. 1 Arizona State easily clenched its 18th-consecutive trip to the NCAA championships when it recorded a team score of 22-under 842 on its home Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Arizona. Led by medalist Charlotta Ciganda, the Sun Devils posted three golfers in the Top 10 as Juliana Murcia tied for third and former national champion Azahara Munoz tied for sixth.
Also shooting under par was USC who finished the NCAA West Regional in second at 861 (-3). Joining USC and Arizona State to round out the line-up from the West were LSU, TCU, UC Irvine, Texas, Arizona and Pepperdine.
LAST YEAR AT NATIONALS
Finishing the NCAA West Regional in a tie for eighth, the Buckeyes narrowly missed the opportunity to compete at the 2008 championships when they lost a five-hole playoff to UC Davis for the final slot.
In 2008, USC won the national title with a team score of 1,168 (+16), while Azahara Munoz of Arizona State took medalist honors.
BUCKEYES AT THE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Under head coach Therese Hession, this is Ohio State’s 11th appearances at the NCAA championships and 16th overall. Ohio State’s best performance came in 2003 when the squad placed fourth in the 24-team field. One stroke away from third, the Buckeyes fired a team score of 1, 214 en route to their Top 5 national finish. Leading for the Buckeyes in 2003 was Kristen White who tied for sixth with a 72-hole total of 300.
The Buckeyes have not competed at the championships since 2005 when they tied for sixth.
Competing in 11 events throughout the 2008-09 season, the Buckeyes currently post an overall record of 92-55-1. Playing against nationally ranked competition, Ohio State is 16-42-1 against Top 25 teams and 43-50-1 versus teams in the Top 50.
Firing 9,321 strokes in 30 rounds of play, the Buckeyes have an average round score of 307.70 heading into the NCAA championships. The team recently recorded their lowest round of the season when they notched an 18-hole score of 293 during the second day of the NCAA Central Regional.
BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Following the conclusion of the 2009 Big Ten Championships, Vicky Villanueva was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year April 26. The native of Chacabuco, Argentina, is the first Buckeye to be named Freshman of the Year since Kristen White received the award in 2002. She is the sixth OSU golfer to earn the award overall.
In 27 rounds this season, Villanueva had a 77.59 stroke average and three finishes in the Top 15, including two in the Top 10. She concluded the Big Ten championships in a tie for 12th.
As well as her Freshman of the Year award, Villanueva was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection.
Currently the 66th individual in the nation, sophomore In Hong Lim was a First Team All-Big Ten honoree as well as the Buckeyes’ recipient of the Sportsmanship Award, the conference announced April 26. Lim, from Melbourne, Australia, earned Ohio State’s 41st first team all-conference honor. The last Buckeye to earn a first team award was Dana Je in 2007.
With a team-leading 77.04 stroke average, Lim also became Ohio State’s first medalist since 2005 when she won the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. She has five Top 20 placements this season.
Regardless of the Buckeye’s placement at the NCAA championships, the national tournament will mark the last collegiate event for seniors Gemma Webster and Jessica Hauser. Combined, the duo have competed in 206 rounds of play and carded 16,092 strokes.
In their four-year tenure with the Buckeyes, Webster currently posts a career-stroke average of 77.65, while Hauser has a lifetime mark of 79.16.
This season, both Webster and Hauser have been an important part of the Buckeye lineup, with Hauser competing in 10 events and Webster in 11.
BUCKEYES AT BIG TENS
Concluding their regular season with a win at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, the Buckeyes began their postseason slate with a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Ohio State notched a 72-hole score of 1,255 on the par 72, 6,333-yard Kampen Course in West Lafayette, Ind. Ohio State was lead by Big Ten Freshman of the Year Vicky Villanueva and junior Emma Jandel who tied for 12th.
Under head coach Therese Hession, the Buckeyes have finished lower than fourth at the Big Ten championships just once in 18 years.
Host school Purdue won the league crown with a score of 1,209, while Michigan State took second at 1,246. Both Purdue and Michigan State will be competing at the NCAA Championships.
REGULAR SEASON ROUNDUP
Concluding the regular season with a win at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, Ohio State played an extremely competitive schedule and has already teed off again many of the teams they will encounter at the NCAA championships.
After taking a trip to Scotland to play several historic courses, the Buckeyes opened their fall slate at the Tar Heel Invitational where they placed seventh. From there, Ohio State finished sixth at the Lady Northern Invitational and second at the Landfall Tradition.
Limited to indoor facilities in the off-season, the Buckeyes had the opportunity to thaw out at the Fort Myers Challenge in January. Kicking off their spring schedule, the Buckeyes dropped a four stroke decision to Big Ten foe Michigan State. Next, the Buckeyes hosted the 14th installment of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., where the squad placed 11th in the talent-loaded field.
After taking sixth at the Central District Invitational, the Buckeyes battled Mother Nature when they lost four-consecutive rounds of play to the elements. When they were finally able to tee off, the squad notched an impressive tie for fourth at the Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic.
Things didn’t quite go as planned when the Buckeyes finished the Bryan National Collegiate in 17th, but the team made a complete turnaround, wrapping up the regular season with their win at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.
For the 18th year, the Buckeyes are led by head coach Therese Hession. A former LPGA professional, Hession has molded the Ohio State golf program into one with a strong tradition of excellence. In her time at Ohio State, Hession has led the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten championships, 10 NCAA championship appearances and 15-consecutive NCAA regional appearances. Hession is an NGCA Hall of Famer and six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year awardwinner.
Assisting Hession is former Buckeye Amy Langhals. Now in her fourth year at the assistant coach position, Langhals was recently inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame by the Varsity “O” Association. While at Ohio State, Langhals was a three-time All-Big Ten selection as well as the 1997 Ohio State Female Athlete of the Year.
Ohio State added three names to its roster next season after signing Susana Benavides, Amy Meier and Rachel Rohanna to NCAA National Letters of Intent, Nov. 21. The trio will be eligible to compete for the Buckeyes in the 2009-10 season.
Benavides, a native of Bolivia, currently attends the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. She won the 2008 Optimist International Junior Golf Championship and will bring plenty of international experience to the Buckeye squad. In 2006, Benavides finished in second at the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic.
A three-year captain at Rochester High School in Rochester Hills, Mich., Meier is a four-time all-league, all-city and all-state golf selection. In her senior season, Meier led the Falcons to a state championship after finishing in first place at the 2008 MHSSA Girls Golf Championship.
Rohanna, a native of Waynesburg, Pa., notched a third place finish at the 2008 PIAA Girls Golf Championship after taking medalist honors in 2005 and 07. A four-time girls’ individual section champion and three-time regional runner-up, the senior from Waynesburg Central High School also helped the WCHS boys’ team secure a section championship in the 2007 and 08 seasons.
Along with the renowned Scarlet Course as their home, the Buckeyes will soon have access to the largest indoor collegiate golf facility in the country. Approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees last September, the 26,000-square foot facility will be completed during the 2009-10 season.