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Oct. 13, 1999

Buckeyes Look for Big Things

%^$The Ohio State women’s golf team ventures to one of the top tournaments in the nation this weekend – the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate, hosted by Tennessee. Several of the nation’s premier squads will be on hand for the 54-hole event, which runs Friday through Sunday.%^$

The Mercedes-Benz Collegiate

%^$The Mercedes-Benz Collegiate tees off Friday at the par-72 Gettysvue Polo, Golf and Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. Half of the tournament’s 18-team field is ranked in the latest MasterCard top-25 rankings, including No. 1 Duke and No. 6 Georgia. The tournament also features 10 of the nation’s top 25 players. Duke, the defending national champion, conquered the tournament last year, firing a tournament-record 892 to coast to a 13-stroke win over second-place Tulsa. %^$

Previously at the Mercedes-Benz

%^$Ohio State had a fine showing at last year’s Mercedes-Benz Collegiate, shooting a 924 (+60) to take sixth place against a top-notch field. Lisa Strom led the Buckeyes with a 225 (+9), a 13th-place finish. Amber Amsutz shot a 234 and notched 37th place. Kelly Moskal and Jamie Rishel competed as Florida Gators in last year’s tourney, shooting scores of 250 and 261, respectively.%^$

OSU Nabs Third at Lady Buckeye

%^$Led by Mollie Fankhauser’s 12th-place 230, Ohio State took third place at the Lady Buckeye Fall Invitational, held at OSU’s Scarlet Course Oct. 2-3. Purdue, trailing by six strokes entering the final round, rallied to win the invitational by five strokes over Alabama. The Buckeyes also received top-20 performances from Amber Amstutz, who shot a 232 and took 15th, and Jamie Rishel, who fired a 234 and earned 20th place. Natalie Aber shot a career-best 237, 15 strokes below her previous career low.%^$

Newcomers Becoming a Force

%^$In their first few weeks on the links, several of Ohio State’s newcomers have stepped up and made their presence known in Ohio State’s lineup. Freshman Mollie Fankhauser has been solid and currently has the second-lowest stroke average (77.22) on the team. Transfers Jamie Rishel and Ashley Lowery have also been impressive and have the third- and fifth-lowest stroke averages, respectively, on the team. Freshman Mary Lidester earned a starting spot in OSU’s first two tournaments and also competed as an individual in the Lady Buckeye Fall Invitational, while Kelly Moskal had a solid performance at the Lady Buckeye Fall Invitational, her first appearance as a Buckeye.%^$

Bucks Take Third at Northern

%^$Following a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Fall Preview, the Buckeyes marked an impressive third-place finish at the Lady Northern Invitational, hosted by Wisconsin at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. OSU fired a 54-hole total of 915, behind champion Purdue’s 896. Senior Amber Amstutz led the Buckeyes with a 229, which left her tied for eighth place overall. Ashley Lowery was also impressive for Ohio State, firing a 231 to take 13th place. Jamie Rishel, in her first competition as a Buckeye, fired a 73 in the first round en route to a 13th-place showing at 231.%^$

Jockeying for Positions

%^$Ohio State dealt with a shortage of players last year, as just six players battled for the five traveling positions. But the competition for the starting positions has been fierce this year, as all 11 Buckeyes have had an opportunity to travel, giving the players extra motivation in practice and some protection in case of any injuries or illness. The Buckeyes have already had three different lineups in their first three tournaments as the players jockey for one of the five starting slots.%^$

OSU’s Dynamic Duo

%^$Seniors Amber Amstutz and Lisa Strom return this year, looking to build on last year’s fabulous season in which both earned all-Big Ten honors as well as NGCA Academic All-American laurels. Amstutz currently leads the team with a 76.83 stroke average, while Strom’s 78.16 stroke average is fourth on the squad. %^$

Ohio State on the Web

%^$For updated results, pictures and tournament highlights from the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate, log on to ohiostatebuckeyes.com or ipix.com/specials/mbchampionship/index.html.%^$

OSU Handling Tough Schedule

%^$The young Buckeye squad has been put to the test right away, as each of the four fall tournaments have featured some of the nation’s top teams. OSU nabbed 12th place at the prestigious NCAA Fall Preview, which featured 20 ranked teams. The Buckeyes then earned back-to-back third place finishes in the Lady Northern and Lady Buckeye Fall invitationals, which showcased several more ranked squads. This weekend’s Mercedes-Benz Collegiate is no different, with nine ranked schools scheduled to attend the event. OSU jumps back into the fire in February at the SMU-OSU Regional Challenge, a tournament which offers 13 teams which are currently ranked in the MasterCard poll, including six of the top 10.%^$

Defending Big Ten Champs

%^$Ohio State is out to defend its 1999 Big Ten Championship, the school’s 10th such title. The Buckeyes’ 72-hole score (1,239), accumulated by Natalie Mosher, Summerset Lovett, Lisa Strom, Amber Amstutz and Tatiana Belham, was the fifth-best in Big Ten history and was OSU’s best score ever at the Big Tens, breaking the 1993 record by one stroke. %^$

Home of the 2000 East Regional

%^$The Ohio State University will serve as the host for the 2000 NCAA East Regional May 11-13 at the OSU Scarlet Course. The course was designed by famed architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, the designer of the Augusta National Golf Course. Rated the best collegiate facility in the country by Golf Digest, the Scarlet Course has served as the host for an NCAA-record nine NCAA Men’s Golf Championships as well as three NCAA Women’s Golf Championships.