STILLWATER, Okla. – The Ohio State women’s golf team began play at the NCAA Championships with an opening-round 310 in difficult playing conditions Friday at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. The Buckeyes’ 22-over-par first round puts them in 19th place heading into the weekend.
The top 15 teams and top nine individuals not on an advancing team after 54 holes will play Monday to determine the top eight teams for match play competition and the Buckeyes are right in the thick of that race, just three strokes back of 15th-place Oklahoma. The Buckeyes open second-round play at 1:21 p.m. CT Saturday.
“We hit a lot of good shots early on,” Therese Hession, Ohio State head coach, said. “Whenever we made a mistake, we kept it to a minimum. We struggled on one hole on the back nine. The course is playing tough so we just have to make good decisions when we get offline. I’m sure tomorrow will be better.”
Junior Jaclyn Lee put together a solid opening round on a hot, humid and breezy day, using five birdies to card an even-par 72 to sit in a tie for 11th. Sophomore Alex Wright battled her way to a 4-over 76 after notching a pair of back nine birdies to sit in a tie for 51st.
Senior Rio Watanabe and junior Niki Schroeder both had an up-and-down first round but were undone by the par-4 17th. Watanabe carded four birdies but struggled on the 390-yard hole that was played with a wind against her and from the left and is tied for 97th after an 8-over 80. Schroeder got off to a solid start and was able to steady herself after consecutive front-nine bogeys but also was troubled by the 17th en route to an opening-round 82. Sophomore Adeena Shears, appearing in her first NCAA Championships, rounded out the Buckeye lineup with an 87.
As a team, Ohio State tied for third-best in par-3 scoring at 2-over and notched the fifth-most eagles with 13. Individually, Lee and Wright each tied for the best on the par-3’s at 1-under while Lee tied for the third-most birdies with five and Watanabe tied for eighth-most with four.
19th Team 310
T-11th – Jaclyn Lee 72 (E)
T-51st – Alex Wright 76 (+4)
T-97th – Rio Watanabe 80 (+8)
T-111th – Niki Schroeder 82 (+10)
T-129th – Adeena Shears 87 (+15)