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Buckeyes travel to California for talent-loaded invitational to open spring tournament slate

COLUMBUS, Ohio After warming up with a dual meet against Michigan State Jan. 25, the Ohio State women’s golf team begins tournament action by hosting the 14th-annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Feb. 9-11 in Palos Verdes, Calif. 
    Featuring nationally-ranked talent from across the country, the Buckeyes host the 54-hole tournament at the par 71, 5,912-yard Palos Verdes Golf Club. The three-day tournament format includes 18 holes each day with teams teeing off at 9 a.m. Monday and Tuesday. The third and final round will take place on Wednesday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

TOURNAMENT BASICS
Name: 2009 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge
Course: Palos Verdes Country Club (par 71, 5,912-yards)
Field: 16 teams (Golfweek rankings) Arizona State (1), Baylor, Brigham Young, California (18), Denver, East Carolina, Florida (30), Michigan State (20), Notre Dame (26), Ohio State (28), Pepperdine (11), Stanford (19), Texas A&M (29), UCLA (2), USC (3), Wake Forest (7).
Schedule:
Monday, Feb. 9: 18 holes – 9 a.m. (tee times)
Tuesday, Feb. 10: 18 holes – 9a.m. (tee times)
Wednesday, Feb. 11: 18 holes – 8 a.m. (shotgun start)

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 women’s golf scoring page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

REPRESENTING THE SCARLET AND GRAY
    Buckeyes making the trip to the West Coast include freshmen Nara Shin and Victoria Villanueva, sophomore In Hong Lim, junior co-captain Emma Jandel and senior co-captain Gemma Webster. Senior Jessica Hauser will compete as an individual. All six participated in at least two tournaments in the fall.

PAC ATTACK
    Of the 16 teams competing, 12 are currently ranked in the Top 30 of the Golfweek rankings. The Top 3 teams in the country (No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 USC) all hail from the PAC-10 Conference, as does California (18) and Stanford (19).  In addition to No. 28 Ohio State, Wake Forest (7), Pepperdine (11), Michigan State (20), Notre Dame (26), Texas A&M (29) and Florida (30) are all nationally ranked.

THINK PINK
    As part of the Regional Challenge, 15 of the 16 competing schools will take part in a College Pro-Am Sunday. Student-athletes competing in the tournament will wear pink in support of Arizona State assistant coach Missy Farr-Kaye who is currently battling breast cancer. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD
    After practicing indoors for the last few months, the Buckeyes kicked off their spring schedule Jan. 25 when they took on Big Ten foe Michigan State at the Fort Myers Challenge. After 18 holes, the Buckeyes fell to the Spartans by four strokes after carding a team score of 310 on the par 72, 6,362-yard The Club at Renaissance. Michigan State junior Laura Kueny won the event with a score of 1-under 71.
    Leading for the Buckeyes was sophomore In Hong Lim who carded a 75 and freshmen Victoria Villanueva who shot a 77.

ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO
    The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge is just one of three tournaments Ohio State is set to host this spring. The Buckeyes look to take full advantage of their home Scarlet Course when they host the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational April 18-19 and the NCAA Central Regional May 7-9.

ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID
    In the 13 years that the Buckeyes have hosted the Regional Challenge, Ohio State has never won the tournament. The Buckeye’s best finish came in 2004 when they concluded the contest in third.
    Last year, Ohio State finished in 15th with then-senior Carling Coffing and junior co-captain Emma Jandel tying for 45th place. UCLA won the tournament with a team score of 876 (+24) on the par 71 course.

FAMILIAR COMPETITION
    There will be some familiar faces on the course this week as the Buckeyes faced Michigan State, Florida, Texas A&M and Wake Forest during their fall schedule. 
    At the Tar Heel Invitational, Wake Forest took tournament honors while Ohio State finished in seventh-place, narrowly missing sixth-place Texas A&M by one stroke.
   Wake Forest again led at the Landfall Tradition, but the Buckeyes were not far behind with a second-place finish.

SPRING FLING
    The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge is just the beginning of Ohio State’s busy spring schedule. Following the trip to California, the Scarlet and Gray will be in action Feb. 16-17 at the Central District Invitational, March 2-3 at the Pinehurst Challenge, March 27-29 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, April 3-5 at the Bryan National Collegiate and return home April 18-19 to host the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.
    The Big Ten Championship, April 24-26, will mark the start of postseason play for the Buckeyes who will then host the NCAA Central Regional May 7-9.
  
NO REST FOR THE WEARY
    After a competitive fall season, five Buckeyes had one more stop before receiving some much needed rest. On Nov. 4-7, senior Gemma Webster, senior Jessica Hauser, junior Emma Jandel, sophomore In Hong Lim and freshmen Nara Shin competed in the qualifying tournament for the 2009 Duramed FUTURES Tour in Lakeland, Fla.
    Coined as “the road to the LPGA and beyond,” the Duramed FUTURES Tour has featured over 300 LPGA members in its 28 years. Of the Buckeyes who made the trip, Webster and Shin both qualified for the tour. After 7 events, Shin concluded the 2008 tour with a 76.73 stroke average. This is the first time that Webster has qualified.

AT THE HELM
    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 14-consecutive NCAA regional appearances.
    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.
  
UP NEXT
    The Buckeyes will have a short turn around when they return to Florida Feb. 16-17 to compete in the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla.