Oct. 7, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State closed out the first day of the Jack Nicklaus Invitational with a loss to Clemson in the opening foursome matches and a tie in the afternoon fourball matches to go 0-1-1 and earn a spot to play in the third-place match tomorrow at Muirfield Village.
Felix Kvarnstrom and Grant Engle got off to a slow start in their foursome match, or alternate shot. The pair was down by three, just three holes into the match before they made a push to get it back to even through eight. The Clemson players managed to edge them on the next hole and held onto a two up advantage to win the match.
Jackson Chandler and Patrick Schmucking put pressure on their Clemson counterparts early, pushing their lead to three after five holes and holding that through the front nine. On the back, they lost some momentum and the Tigers slowly chipped away the lead to close out the match all square.
The final pairing of JonErik Alford and Kevin Stone won the first hole, but only won one more during the match that ended with them four-down and gave Clemson the victory.
In the afternoon, the format switched to fourball, allowing for each player in the pair to play their own ball and take the better score on the team for each hole. The afternoon matches proved very exciting, featuring great shots and two matches being decided on the 18th green.
Kvarnstrom and Engle led the way for Ohio State again and battled the Clemson twosome for the whole round. The match was the epitome of back and forth as it featured five lead changes through 16 holes. Clemson took a one-up lead after three when Ohio State won holes five and six to go out in front. The advantage changed teams after nine and would stay tied or in the Tigers favor through 15 holes. With just three holes to play, Kvarnstrom and Engle slammed the door, rolling in impressive putts to win 16 and 17 and take the match, two and one.
Chandler and Schmucking played well in their second match, making clutch shots and long putts to earn their second tie of the day. The match was all square through four before Clemson started to build their lead that would grow to three as late as the 13th hole. Starting on 14, the Buckeyes started to take charge, birdieing 14 and 16 to cut the deficit to one. Chandler stepped up big in the closing holes, knocking a close approach shot on 17 and draining a 20-foot putt to match the Clemson birdie and move on to 18. On the final hole, Chandler again hit it close from the fairway and rolled in the putt to tie the match and earn the half point.
Alford and Stone showed solid effort in their final match of the day. The pair tied the match three different times, going up by one on hole 10 but could not sustain the lead. The two battled to keep the match alive through the 18th hole but would eventually fall two-down.
|Clemson (2)||2-0-1||OSU (3)|
|Clemson (2)||1-1-1||OSU (3)|
The Buckeyes will take on Florida State in a battle for third place starting at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.