Ohio State in the hunt for its 15th conference crown after back-to-back runner-up finishes to close out the regular season
COLUMBUS, Ohio After a stellar performance at its own Lady Buckeye Invitational last weekend, the Ohio State women’s golf team heads to University Park, Pa., to compete in the 2008 Big Ten Championships, April 25-27. The Buckeyes head to familiar terrain as the three-day, 72-hole event is held on the par 72, 6,300-yard Penn State Blue Course, on which the squad has previously competed this season. The championships are set to begin on Friday at 8 a.m. with the first 36 holes. The third and fourth rounds will follow Saturday and Sunday, both beginning at 8 a.m.
Name: Big Ten Championships
Course: Penn State Blue Course (par 72, 6,300 yards)
Field – 11 teams (national rankings): Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State (16), Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue (6) and Wisconsin.
Friday, April 25: 36 holes, 8 a.m.
Saturday, April 26: 18 holes, 8 a.m.
Sunday, April 27: 18 holes, 8 a.m.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THINGS
Live scoring for the Big Ten championships will be available at www.golfstat.com. There also will be a link to the tournament scoring on the Ohio State women’s golf schedule page at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
There will be no surprises for the Buckeyes at the Big Ten Championships. Ohio State has previously faced each of the Big Ten schools at least once this season, matching up against many of them twice. OSU competed against seven league teams just days ago at the Lady Buckeye Invitational, finishing ahead of all of them, including No. 16 Michigan State.
REPRESENTING THE BUCKEYES
Making the trip for the Big Ten tournament will be the same six golfers that led Ohio State to a second-place finish last weekend. Seniors Carling Coffing and Haley Brown, juniors Jessica Hauser and Gemma Webster, sophomore Emma Jandel and freshman In Hong Lim will all be traveling to Penn State. Minus the rookie Lim, all five Buckeyes have had previous conference championship experience.
TWICE AS NICE
This Ohio State squad may experience a little bit of dj vu this weekend at Penn State, previously competing on the Penn State Blue Course during the Lady Northern Invitational (Sept. 22-23). The squad faired well on the course finishing fourth in a field of 14.
The Buckeyes pulled out a solid performance at the 2007 Big Ten Championships placing fourth. Ohio State had four golfers finish in the Top 20, including then-sophomores Gemma Webster and Jessica Hauser and rookie Emma Jandel. All three will be competing for the squad again this season. Webster finished tied for 15th while Hauser and Jandel rounded out the Top 20 in 17th and tied for 18th respectively. Former Buckeye Dana Je, then in her senior season, tied for 12th to lead the team.
BUCKEYES AT BIG TENS
Ohio State has taken the title of Big Ten champion 14 times since 1979, last claiming it in 2005. Since then, the Buckeyes have finish second in 2006 and fourth in 2007. Ohio State won six out of seven years from 1979-85 with a Buckeye medaling all seven of those years. A total of 12 OSU golfers have been the Big Ten medalist, with Kristen White last winning it in 2005. Cathy Kratzert (1982, ’83), Cheryl Stacy (1984, ’85) and Mollie Fankhauser (2001, ’02) each won the Big Ten individual title twice. Amy Langhals, now an assistant coach at Ohio State, was the 1997 medalist as a senior.
THE COMFORTS OF HOME
Senior Carling Coffing took full advantage of closing out the regular season on her home course during Lady Buckeye Invitational last weekend. The Middletown, Ohio, native proved her comfort at Scarlet Course, opening the event with a 67, a career low and the first time she has broken into the 60s in a collegiate tournament. Her first-round score of 5-under par was also one stoke shy of a course record, set during the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Coffing went on to contest medalist honors throughout the second and third round, finishing in second by just two strokes.
LAST TIME OUT
Ohio State seems to be stepping up its game as the regular season winds down and postseason play begins. The Buckeyes had a stellar outing at the Lady Buckeye Invitational (April 19-20), finishing second to No. 15 Kent State on its own Scarlet Course. It was the highest finish for OSU in the event since 2004. Senior Carling Coffing, of Middletown, Ohio, took second place to lead the team, just two strokes shy of medalist honors. Also finishing in the Top 10 for Ohio State was junior caption Gemma Webster in seventh place. The remainder of the competing roster represented Ohio State in the Top 25 including senior Haley Brown and junior Jessica Hauser who tied in 22nd with a score of 236 and sophomore Emma Jandel who recorded a 237, finishing tied for 25th.
SPRINGING INTO SUCCESS
Senior Carling Coffing has taken the spring schedule by storm. The Middletown, Ohio, native has led the Buckeyes in three of the five tournaments of the spring season, including helping them to second-place finishes at the Indiana Invitational (April 7-8) and Lady Buckeye Invitational (April 19-20). Thanks to her stellar performance at the Lady Buckeye, where she tied her career-best finish by taking second, she now owns the lowest stroke average on the team with a 75.80 and the lowest one-round score with a 67. Coffing tied for third at the Central District, her second-highest career finish, and for her efforts was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week Feb. 20. She has finished in the Top 20 in all but one spring event.
STEADY WINS THE RACE
Consistency has been the name of the game for sophomore Emma Jandel. The Dayton, Ohio, native led the Buckeyes through much of the fall season and has been a mainstay in spring tournaments as well. She has finished in the Top 2 among the Buckeyes in five of the six spring events, including leading the squad at the Naples Challenge, Jandel has placed in the Top 25 five times and is second in stroke average on the team with 76.48.
RECORD HIGH, RECORD LOW
Senior Haley Brown may be peaking at just the right time this season. The Austin, Texas, native recorded two career bests April 7-8 at the Indiana Invitational. Brown finished in eighth place at the Indiana Invitational, her highest finish as a Buckeye, and shot a career-low 54-hole score of 218. The senior also topped the Buckeye roster for the first time this season.
Junior Gemma Webster, the 2007-08 captain of the Buckeyes, led the team in more ways than one throughout the fall season. Webster finished in the Top 10 in two of the four fall tournaments and placing 13th at another. She led the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish at the Lady Northern Invitational (Sept. 22-23) in University Park, Pa., placing eighth at the event. Webster also recorded her first hole-in-one since becoming a Buckeye at the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship.
After a summer of stellar performances, sophomore Emma Jandel was ready to come back and compete for the Buckeyes this fall. She advanced all the way to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur and won the 2007 Ohio Women’s Amateur Championships, successfully defending her 2006 title and making her the first player to win back-to-back titles since Diana Schwab in 1990. Jandel’s summer success continued into the fall as she finished in the Top 25 at three of the four fall tournaments, including a 15th place finish at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Championship where she managed to move up 34 places in two rounds.
AT THE HELM
Head coach Therese Hession is in her 17th year at the helm of Ohio State. Last season she led the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish at the 2007 Big Ten Championships and their 13th-consecutive NCAA Regional competition, During her tenure at Ohio State, Hession has guided the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten championships and five Top 8 finishes at the NCAA championships. She has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors six times.
The Buckeyes will next await the announcement of the NCAA tournament field Monday. The 2008 NCAA Women’s Golf Regional competitions take place May 8-10, in Austin, Texas, Atlanta, Ga., or Sacramento, Calif. The NCAA championships will be hosted by New Mexico, May 20-23.