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Buckeyes look for strong finish on home course before beginning postseason play

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s golf team concludes its regular season by hosting the 29th  Annual Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, April 19-20 in Columbus, Ohio. The two-day, 54-hole tournament will feature 15 teams from across the country on the Buckeyes’ own par 72, 6,228-yard Scarlet Course.
     The tournament begins with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start both days, with 36 holes Saturday and the a final round Sunday.
     
TOURNAMENT BASICS

The Tournament: 29th Annual Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational
The Course: The Ohio State University Golf Club, Scarlet Course (par 72, 6,228 yards)
The Field:  15 teams (Golfweek rankings) Ohio State (30), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Kent State (20), Michigan State (21), Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Rollins, Washington (43) and Wisconsin.
The Schedule:
Saturday, April 18: 36 holes (8:30 a.m. shotgun start)
Sunday, April 19: 18 holes (8:30 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. 

 A LOOK AT THE LINEUP
     Representing Ohio State at home includes senior co-captain Gemma Webster, junior co-captain Emma Jandel, sophomore In Hong Lim and freshmen Nara Shin and Vicky Villanueva. Each Buckeye has represented Ohio State in at least seven events this season.
     In addition to the starting five, every Buckeye on Ohio State’s roster will have the opportunity to play at home this weekend as seniors Jessica Hauser and Jennifer Cassidy and sophomore Gina Besozzi will play as individuals. The Invitational will be Besozzi’s first event of the season.

THE FIELD
     In addition to a home course advantage, the Buckeyes will also have familiarity of the competition working in their favor. Of the 15 teams competing, the Buckeyes have previously faced nine of them (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kent State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin) during their competitive schedule.
      The Buckeyes, who are currently No. 30 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, will only be outranked this weekend by Kent State (20) and Michigan State (21). The Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will mark the third time Ohio State has faced Kent State and the seventh time the squad has teed off against Michigan State. The Buckeyes placed higher than both the Golden Flashes and the Spartans at the Tar Heel Invitational (Oct. 3-5) in Chapel Hill, N.C.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT    
     The two-day Lady Buckeye Invitational will feature a format of 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday. The Buckeye’s played a similar set-up at the Lady Northern Invitational (Oct. 18-19) and at the Central District Invitational (Feb. 16-17).
     Ohio State will again play 36 holes in a day at the four-round Big Ten Championship April 24-26.

MAKING RANK
     Currently, Ohio State sits in the No. 30 slot of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. The Buckeyes have maintained their spot in the Top 30 of the rankings for eight-consecutive weeks. 
     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.

LAST YEAR AT THE LADY BUCKEYE   
      Last year, the Buckeyes had their highest finish in their annual tournament since 2004 when they carded a 54-hole score of 913 to finish in second place. In-state foe Kent State won the event with a score of 885, while Sara Brown of Michigan State took medalist honors.
      Led by former Buckeye Carling Coffing who placed second, Gemma Webster, Jessica Hauser and Emma Jandel all finished in the Top 25. Competing as individuals, Gina Besozzi tied for 46th and Jennifer Cassidy tied for 60th.

OHIO STATE’S HISTORY
     The 2009 edition of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will mark the 29th year that Ohio State has hosted the tournament. Since its beginning in 1975, the Buckeyes have won the tournament 11 times and produced 10 medalists, the most of any school. Ohio State’s first tournament win came in 1980.
     Led by former Buckeye and 2005 Big Ten champion Kristen White, Ohio State’s last tournament victory came in 2003 when the squad fired a score of 886.

SCARLET HISTORY
     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, 6,228-yard Scarlet Course will continue hosting duties with the NCAA Central Regional, May 7-9.     

LAST TIME OUT
     After battling Mother Nature at two of their last three outings, the Buckeyes finally completed an entire tournament when they competed at the Bryan National Collegiate April 3-5 in Greensboro, N.C. Compiling a 54-hole team score of 937 on par 72, 6,386-yard Bryan Park Champions Course, the Buckeyes concluded the talent-loaded tournament in 17th.
     The Buckeyes were lead by freshmen Vicky Villanueva who finished the 96-player field in a tie for 48th with a score of 232. Two strokes back from her were senior co-captain Gemma Webster and sophomore In Hong Lim who tied for 59th. Freshmen Nara Shin tied for 74th, while junior co-captain Emma Jandel tied for 80th.

ACE IN THE HOLE
     During the practice round of the Bryan National Collegiate, senior co-captain Gemma Webster recorded the second hole-in-one of her career on the 162-yard, No. 12 hole of the Bryan Park Champions Course. Her first career ace came in 2007 at the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship (Sept. 14-16) where the Buckeyes placed 17th.

HOST WITH THE MOST
     Although the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational is the last regular-season tournament for the Scarlet and Gray, it is not the last of the squad’s hosting responsibilities. In addition to this weekend, the Buckeyes will host, and hopefully play in, the 2009 NCAA Central Regional on their home Scarlet Course, May 7-9.
      The Buckeyes previously hosted the 14th Annual Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in California in February where they placed 11th.

POSTSEASON PREVIEW
     The Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational will mark the end of the team’s regular season schedule. From here, Ohio State will return to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Big Ten Championship. Competing on the par 72, 6,276-yard Kampen Course, the Buckeyes will be in familiar territory having previewed the course and field at the Lady Northern Invitational (Oct. 18-19). The Buckeyes finished in sixth place with a score of 938 in that event.
     In addition to a Big Ten championship, the Buckeyes will also be in the hunt for their 15th-consecutive NCAA regional appearance. Ohio State is set to host the NCAA Central Regional at Scarlet Course, May 7-9.

COMING SOON
     Along with the opportunity to play on the renowned Scarlet Course, the Buckeyes will soon have access to the largest indoor collegiate golf facility in the country. Approved by the Ohio State Board of Trustees in last September, the 26,000-square foot facility will be completed during the 2009-10 season.

COACHES CORNER
      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. 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.

UP NEXT
      The Buckeyes will make their way to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Big Ten Championships April 24-26.