Ohio State prepares for first tournament action since Feb. 18-19

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s golf team travels to Austin, Texas, to participate in the Betsy Rawls Invitational March 17-19. The three-day, 54-hole event is being held at the par 72, 6,344 yard University of Texas Golf Club.
   Competition at the Betsy Rawls is the first tournament action for the Buckeyes since participating in the Central District Invitational Feb. 18-19. Ohio State competed in a dual meet vs. Florida Atlantic March 2.

The Tournament: Betsy Rawls Invitational
The Course: The University of Texas Golf Club (par 72, 6,344 yards)
The Field -17 teams (national rankings): Arkansas (9), Baylor, Florida (5), Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico (23), Notre Dame (25), Ohio State, Oklahoma, SMU, TCU, Texas, Wisconsin
The Schedule:
Monday, March 17: 18 holes
Tuesday, March 18: 18 holes
Wednesday, March 19: 18 holes

   Live scoring for the Betsy Rawls Invitational will be available at There also will be a link to the tournament scoring on the Ohio State women’s golf schedule page at

    The Buckeyes will compete against four Top 25 teams, including No. 5 Florida and No. 9 Arkansas. This Ohio State squad has also never competed on the University of Texas golf course, however, the Buckeyes head to the tournament having already faced 14 of the 16 of the teams this season. Ohio State may also have a leg-up as it has faced nine of the competing teams just over a month ago in the Central District Invitational, where the Buckeyes took fourth place.

   The Buckeyes have only competed at the Betsy Rawls Invitational two times since 1990, but have faired well during each outing. Ohio State made the trip to Austin, Texas, for two-consecutive years in 2002 and 2003, where they finished fourth in a field of 14 and third in a field of 12, respectively. Since this trip will mark just the third time in 18 years the Buckeyes have competed at the Betsy Rawls Invitational, no current team members have experience in the tournament or on the course.

   Six Buckeyes will make the trip to Austin, Texas in hopes of competing at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. Leading Ohio State in the No. 1 spot will be senior Carling Coffing, who has led the Buckeyes throughout the spring season. Also competing in the event are sophomore Emma Jandel at No. 2 and junior captain Gemma Webster in the No. 3 position. Three Buckeyes, senior Haley Brown and junior Jennifer Cassidy and Jessica Hauser, will make the trip and compete for the remaining two spots during practice Sunday.

   Ohio State last traveled to Naples, Fla., to host a dual meet vs. Florida Atlantic, March 2. The Buckeyes finished the 18-hole event with a score of 318 on the par 72 Creek Course, just three strokes shy of Florida Atlantic. Leading the Buckeyes was sophomore Emma Jandel, who shot a 76 to place second. Coming up two-strokes behind Jandel was senior Carling Coffing who carded a 78 to finish third.
   Senior Carling Coffing has taken the spring schedule by storm. The Middletown, Ohio, native has led the Buckeyes in both tournaments of the spring season, including helping the Buckeyes to their fourth place finish at the Central District Invitational. Coffing tied for third at the event, her second-highest career finish, and for her efforts was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week Feb. 20. As a result of her stellar play, she also owns a 76.00 stroke average, the lowest of any Buckeye thus far.

   After hosting the 13th-consecutive Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, Calif., the Buckeyes have completed half of their hosting commitments for the 2007-08 season. Ohio State also will host the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational at its home Scarlet Course, April 19-20. That tournament is the longest-running one hosted by Ohio State, with 2008 being the 28th year of the event.

   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. There she carded rounds of 72-76-75 for a total of 7-over 223. Webster has also been ranked as high as No. 12 on the Golfweek women’s college individual rankings and 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.

   After leading the Buckeyes to a fourth place finish at the 2007 Big Ten Championships and their 13th-consecutive NCAA Regional competition, head coach Therese Hession is in her 17th year at the helm of Ohio State. In her 16 seasons as head coach, Hession has guided the Buckeyes to seven Big Ten championships and led Ohio State to five Top 8 finishes at the NCAA championships. She has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors six times.

   The Buckeyes will next compete at the Indiana Invitational, April 7-8 in Carmel, Ind., before heading home for the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, April 19-20.