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Buckeyes tied for 23rd heading into final day of nationals

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  Big Ten Freshman of the Year Vicky Villanueva fired a score of 1-over 73 during the third round of the NCAA championships Thursday, the lowest round by a Buckeye in the event. As a team, Ohio State tallied a score of 314 on the par 72, 6,443-yard course at Caves Valley Golf Club.

With one round to go, the Buckeyes are tied with UC Irvine in 23rd place with a 54-hole total of 948 (+84).

The tournament featured its third leader in as many days with defending NCAA champ USC working its way to the top of the board with a total of 890 after a team score of 294. Just behind by a stroke is top-seeded Arizona State after a tournament-low team round of 291. In third with a total of 893 is UCLA.

Starting off the No. 10 tee, Villanueva began her round on a high note with a birdie, but followed with bogey-double bogey on the next two holes. The native of Chacabuco, Argentina, got a boost with a birdie on No. 13 and settled down to make par on seven of her next eight holes.

Villanueva finished her last nine holes at 1-under with birdie-bogey-birdie on Nos. 4-6, capping off the streak by sinking a 60-foot putt. Her 73 is just a stroke away from her season low she set last time out at the NCAA Central Regional on OSU’s own Scarlet Course.

With a three-round sum of 226 (+10) to tie for 28th, Villanueva also is only two strokes back from her best 54-hole score this season, set in the fall season at the Landfall Tradition.

Senior Gemma Webster improved by 10 strokes over her previous two rounds with a 77. She had a rough start with bogeys on four of her first five holes, but settled down and made par on her next eight holes. The co-captain from Glasgow, Scotland, also posted her first birdie of the tournament on the par 5 No. 7. She is tied for 118th with a total of 251.

After five double-bogeys in her first nine holes, senior Jessica Hauser made the turn and turned the page on her round. She was only 1-over on her last nine holes, with a birdie on the par 3 No. 8, and finished with a round of 82. The Hartland, Wis., native is tied for 124th at 256.

Co-captain Emma Jandel also carded an 82 and was never really able to get anything going on her round, outside of a birdie on the par 5 No. 17. The junior from Dayton, Ohio, remains the second-highest Buckeye in the standings in a tie for 80th at 235.

Sophomore In Hong Lim, a First Team All-Big Ten selection, withdrew from the round with an injury after playing six holes. It was the first time any Buckeye had withdrawn from a round all season and a tough loss for Ohio State, with Lim leading the team in five tournaments this spring.

Conditions were once again ideal for the tournament with completely clear skies and slight breezes with temperatures reaching into the high 70s.

The championships conclude Friday with the final round. The Buckeyes will start the morning wave, teeing off of No. 10 between 7:30-8:10 a.m. Live scoring is available on www.golfstat.com and coverage of hole Nos. 16-18 will be streaming live throughout the day at www.ncaa.com.

2009 NCAA Championships
Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Md.
Par 72, 6,443 yards

Team Standings Scores
1. Southern California 301-295-294890 (+26)
2. Arizona State  302-298-291891 (+27)
3. UCLA   296-293-304893 (+29)
4. North Carolina 299-301-306906 (+42)
5. Denver  294-304-309907 (+43)
6. Virginia  305-302-301908 (+44)
7. Oklahoma State 303-297-309909 (+45)
8. Duke   308-301-302911 (+47)
9. Pepperdine  312-298-302912 (+48)
10. LSU   302-304-309915 (+51)
T-11. Alabama  305-302-311918 (+54)
T-11. Purdue  306-301-311918 (+54)
13. Wake Forest 303-300-318921 (+57)
14. Georgia  316-307-301924 (+60)
15. Michigan State 307-303-315925 (+61)
16. Tennessee  307-313-306926 (+62)
17. Chattanooga 316-307-305928 (+64)
18. Arizona  310-305-314929 (+65)
19. TCU   314-316-301931 (+67)
20. New Mexico  311-314-307932 (+68)
21. Tulane  312-305-317934 (+70)
22. Texas  314-311-313938 (+74)
T-23. Ohio State  323-311-314948 (+84)
T-23. UC Irvine  320-316-312948 (+84)

Ohio State Results Scores
T-28. Vicky Villanueva  78-75-73226 (+10)
T-80. Emma Jandel  75-78-82235 (+19)
T-118. Gemma Webster 87-87-77251 (+35)
T-124. Jessica Hauser  93-81-82256 (+40)
126. In Hong Lim  83-77-WD160 (+16)