Regional admission is free and teams tee off beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday-Saturday
COLUMBUS, Ohio After concluding the 2009 Big Ten Championships in third, the Ohio State women’s golf team will be in the hunt for a trip to the national championships when they host the 2009 NCAA Central Regional on its home par 72, 6,246-yard Scarlet Course. Competing in their 15th-consecutive regional tournament, the No. 8-seeded Buckeyes will take on 20 of the top teams in the country, May 7-9.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament starts with 8 a.m. tee times for single rounds Thursday-Saturday.
Name: 2009 NCAA Central Regional
Course: Scarlet Course, The Ohio State University Golf Club (par 72, 6,246 yards)
Field: 21 teams (Golfweek/Sagarin rankings) Ohio State (27), UCLA (2), Oklahoma State (4), Purdue (9), Wake Forest (6), Louisville (18), Kent State (19), Michigan State (23), Stanford (24), New Mexico (22), Georgia State (29), Notre Dame (33), North Carolina State (30), Washington (45), Kentucky (44), Chattanooga (46), Michigan (49), Harvard, Illinois State, Murray State, Fairleigh Dickinson.
Thursday, May 7: 18 holes (8 a.m. tee times)
Friday, May 8: 18 holes (8 a.m. tee times)
Saturday, May 9: 18 holes (8 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 Buckeye women’s golf schedule page on www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
THE OHIO STATE LINEUP
Buckeyes competing on their home course this weekend include senior co-captain Gemma Webster, senior Jessica Hauser, junior co-captain Emma Jandel, sophomore In Hong Lim and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Vicky Villanueva.
The five Buckeyes contending for a trip to nationals are the same five that helped to secure Ohio State a third place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Jandel, Hauser and Lim each played in the NCAA West Regional last season in California.
HOW IT WORKS
The 2009 NCAA Central Regional is composed of three rounds of 18 holes. At the conclusion of the three-day, 54-hole tournament, the Top 8 teams will garner a trip to the NCAA championships, May 19-22 in Baltimore, Md.
Tee times for the three rounds of competition will begin at 8 a.m. The times for Thursday and Friday are based on team seedings, with Saturday’s times to be determined by team standings after 36 holes.
The Buckeyes will tee off between 8:10 and 8:50 a.m. Thursday and between 12:30 and 1:10 p.m. Friday.
AROUND THE NCAA
Along with the Central Regional on the Scarlet Course, the University of Florida hosts the East Regional on the Mark Bostick Golf Course and Arizona State hosts the West Regional on the ASU Karsten Golf Course. All three regionals take place May 7-9.
In addition to being rated one of the best collegiate golf facilities in the country by Golf Digest, the Ohio State University Golf Course also boasts an extremely rich history. The vision of former Ohio State Athletic Director L. W. St. John, plans for the university club began in the early 1930’s. Designed by renowned course architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie, the courses were built during the Great Depression with labor provided by the government subsidized Works Progress Administration. One of the first collegiate golf courses in the Midwest, the 295 acre Scarlet Course was completed in 1938 with the Gray Course close to follow in 1940.
The Scarlet Course made history in 1941 when it played host to the first-ever Women’s National Golf Championship. Competing schools could be represented by a maximum of four players with entry fees costing five dollars per team. Fifty years later, the NCAA women’s championship played tribute to its roots when it returned to the Scarlet Course in 1991. The Scarlet Course has hosted a record 14 woman’s national championships along with several U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur qualifiers.
From 2005-06, Buckeye alumnus and golf legend Jack Nicklaus gave the Scarlet Course a facelift, redesigning the bunkers and lengthening the course. The current driving range was also enlarged and a short-game practice area was designed for the varsity teams. The redesigned course was re-opened just in time to host the 2006 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships.
Composed of bent grass greens and fairways, the par 72, 6,246-yard Scarlet Course recently hosted the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational April 18-19 which the Buckeyes won by a 10-stroke margin.
RECENTLY AT SCARLET
The Scarlet Course hosted the NCAA Central Regional for the men’s tournament last season. The last NCAA women’s event was the 2006 national championships, which also was the first event on the renovated Scarlet.
The course also will play host to the annual Nationwide Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational for the third time this summer. Scarlet also was the site of a U.S. Open qualifier last summer and has hosted numerous AJGA events.
Concluding the Big Ten Championships in third, the Buckeyes fell two positions in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings to sit in the 27th slot. Heading into regional play, the Buckeyes have held onto their spot in the Top 30 for 11-consecutive weeks.
Individually, the Buckeyes are lead by sophomore In Hong Lim who is the 71st individual in the nation based on the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. 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.
In the Golfstat.com rankings, the Buckeyes are ranked 24th and are also in the Top 25 of the Freshman Class Impact Ranking.
In addition to the No. 27 Buckeyes, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Wake Forest, Purdue, Louisville, Kent State, New Mexico, Michigan State, Stanford, Georgia State and North Carolina State are also ranked in the Top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
With 11 teams coming off of conference wins, the Buckeyes will need to play solid golf to get past a field which includes 16 individuals ranked in the Top 50.
However, the Buckeyes know that they are capable of making an impact as they have at one point this season placed higher than 11 of the teams competing, including No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 6 Wake Forest.
POST SEASON PUSH
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.
BUCKEYES AT REGIONALS
Making their 15th-consecutive regional appearance the Buckeyes, who have the eighth seed heading into the competition, will look to make their first trip to the NCAA championships since 2005 when they tied for sixth in the nation. In those 15 years of NCAA regional play, the Buckeyes won the 1997 and 2005 NCAA East Regionals. Ohio State has competed in 16 regionals in 18 years under the direction of head coach Therese Hession.
Last year, the Buckeyes narrowly missed a trip to the NCAA championships. Competing on the par 72, 6,338-yard Orchard Course in Lincoln, Calif., the Buckeyes concluded the 54-hole NCAA West Regional with a score of 892 to tie for eighth with UC Davis and Stanford. Ohio State competed in a playoff for the last spot to the NCAA championships. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough as the Buckeyes lost the five-hole playoff to UC Davis who finished 1-under.
At the 2008 regional tournament, the Buckeyes were lead by junior co-captain Emma Jandel and former Buckeye Haley Brown who tied for 30th.
The NCAA Central Regional will mark the last home competition for seniors Jessica Hauser and Gemma Webster. Combined, the pair has competed in 200 rounds and fired 15,628 strokes in their Buckeye careers. Webster has a career stroke average of 77.64 while Hauser has a lifetime 78.83 mark.
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 2002. She is the sixth OSU golfer to earn the award overall.
In 24 rounds this season, Villanueva had a 77.54 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.
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 77.12 stroke average, Lim also became Ohio State’s first medalist since 2005 when she won the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational last weekend. She has four Top 20 placements this season.
As well as her Freshman of the Year award, Vicky Villanueva was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection.
The Buckeyes will be in familiar territory this weekend as they competed at home just a few weeks ago at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. Ohio State fared well on its own course winning the 15-team field by a 10-stroke margin. Carding a season-low team score of 895 (+31), the Buckeyes were lead by sophomore In Hong Lim who took medalist honors will a score of 1-over 217. Joining Lim in the Top 10 were freshman Vicky Villanueva and senior Jessica Hauser who tied for sixth, and senior Gemma Webster who tied for ninth.
The victory at home was the Buckeyes’ first tournament win since 2005 and their first medalist since Kristen White won the Big Ten tournament also in 2005.
HOST WITH THE MOST
The NCAA Central Regional will mark the end of Ohio State’s hosting responsibilities for the 2008-09 season. Ohio State previously hosted the 14th Annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Feb. 9-11) in Palos Verdes, Calif., and the 29th Annual Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational (April 18-19) on its home Scarlet Course.
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 in the postseason.
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 lead 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.
Depending on the Buckeyes’ performance this weekend, Ohio State may have the opportunity to compete at the NCAA championship, May 19-22 in Baltimore, Md.