Ohio State heads to West Lafayette for final tune-up before Big Ten Championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After taking a much needed weekend off following three-straight tournaments, the Ohio State men’s golf team will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the Boilermaker Invitational April 24-25. The Buckeyes will be part of a 12-team field that will look to conquer the par 72, 7,465 yard Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. The 54-hole event will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. for 36 holes Saturday and tee times will start at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Boilermaker Invitational
Course: Kampen Course, Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex (par 72, 7,465 yards)
The Field: (12 Teams)
Eastern Michigan
Miami (Ohio)
Northern Illinois
Ohio State
Saturday, April 24 – 8:30 a.m. (36 holes, shotgun start)
Sunday, April 25 – 8 a.m. (18 holes, tee times)

Live scoring will not be available for this tournament, but scores and daily recaps will be available on the men’s golf schedule page at
Junior Bo Hoag will lead Ohio State into Boilermaker country this weekend, for his 10th tournament start of the season. After an impressive individual performance at the Kepler Intercollegiate with a sixth-place finish, senior Brad Wright will look to duplicate those results this weekend as he makes his seventh team start of the season. Junior Brad Smith will have his eighth start of the season. A pair of freshman in Zack Sobel and Matt Turner round out the Buckeyes’ lineup. The rookies will be making their sixth and seventh starts of the season, respectively.

The Boilermaker Invitational will feature five teams from the Mid-American Conference and seven from the Big Ten to make up a 12-team field that will give participants a solid tune-up before postseason play begins. The Buckeyes have already played against every team that will tee up this weekend, with the exception of one of head coach Donnie Darr’s former teams, Akron. Darr was at Akron in 2005-06 and lead the Zips as head coach, directing current Buckeye senior Brad Wright in his freshman season.

Among the 12-team field will be a trio of teams from Ohio that the Buckeyes will look to topple. Although Ohio State has yet to tee off against Akron, the Scarlet and Gray most recently matched up against Miami and Toledo April 3-4 at the Irish Creek Collegiate Classic. Ohio State defeated Toledo by 20 strokes and Miami by 30 en route to a runner-up finish.

The forecast for West Lafayette, Ind., looks promising for this weekend’s regular-season finale. Saturday has a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms, but temperatures are expected to reach the low 70s and the golf index tabs Saturday as having “very good” playing conditions. Sunday could pose some problems for the field, as temperatures are expected to only reach the upper 60s with a 60 percent chance of showers throughout the day and a golf index ranking of “good”.

The Boilermaker Invitational will be played on the par 72, 7,465 yard Kampen Course, a links style course that was recently tabbed as the fourth best college course in the nation in a poll in which Ohio State topped the rankings. With a slope of 143 and a rating of 75.9, the Pete Dye-designed course has understated tricks throughout that will provide trials and tribulations for even the most talented of golfers. Accuracy and careful attention to detail are a must as some holes feature greens that measure in at over 40 yards long and others play host to bunkers that are seemingly invisible from the tee box to those without a keen eye. 

With the help of famed golf course architect Pete Dye, over 30 students and representative from four different colleges at Purdue helped re-design the North Course in 1996 to transform it into the Kampen Course.

The Boilermaker Invitational will consist of 54-holes of golf over two days of play. Saturday will open with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. and the first and second rounds will be played. Sunday will begin at 8 a.m. with scheduled tee times and only one round of golf will take place. Scoring for the event is count the lowest four scores out of a team’s five golfers.

Following a sixth place finish at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, senior Brad Wright now leads the Buckeyes in stroke average with a 73.48 mark over 21 rounds. Junior Brad Smith is second with a 73.65 stroke average over 20 rounds of play. Smith is one of three Buckeyes with two rounds in the 60s this season, along with classmate Bo Hoag and freshman Zack Sobel. Hoag is the only Buckeyes to play in all nine events this year (24 rounds) and is third on the team in stroke average at 73.83.  Hoag also has three top-10 finishes and five rounds under par.

Ohio State welcomed 10 other teams to The Ohio State University Club April 10-11 annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. The Buckeyes finished in seventh place with a team score of 894 at the 54-hole event that was played on the par 71, 7,451 yard Scarlet Course.

Junior Bo Hoag led the charge for the Scarlet and Gray, finishing in a tie for 21st at 9-over 222. Fellow junior Brad Smith was close behind Hoag in 35th place at 225 while junior Michael Cress closed out just behind Smith in 38th place. Cress notched a 226 for the event to finish in a tie with freshman Matt Turner. Zack Sobel rounded out the lineup for Ohio State, firing a 228 to finish in a tie for 44th.

Along with the team lineup, six golfers also competed as individuals for the Buckeyes. Senior Brad Wright followed his 2009 Kepler title with a sixth place finish and a score of 1-over 214. Sophomore Alex Redfield also provided a solid performance, ending in a tie for 11th at 218 and not far behind was Patrick Simard at 222. The senior finished in a tie for 21st and was four strokes ahead of sophomore Dan Charen, who tallied a 226 and a tie for 38th place.

Also competing as an individual was redshirt freshman Jamie Sindelar, whose 228 performance put him in a 44th place tie. Senior David Becher finished in a 48th place tie at 229 in his final home event as a Buckeye.

Following his performance at the 2010 Big Ten Match Play Championship, freshman Zack Sobel was named to the All-Tournament Team for the event. In just the second team event of his career as a Buckeye, the Clearwater, Fla., native posted a 3-0-1 mark while helping Ohio State finish 2-1-1 in the second-annual event held Feb. 12-13 at Heron Bay Golf Club in Coral Springs, Fla.

The Buckeyes opened the event with a convincing 5-1 win against Michigan State before halving their match against Iowa 3-3. The Hawkeyes took the tiebreaker and the Buckeyes faced off against Michigan in the consolation bracket during the second day of play. Ohio State fell 3.5-2.5 against their foes from the north, but ended the event on a high note as they defeated Indiana with a 5-1 mark.

The first half of the Buckeyes schedule brought solid play and some surprising finishes for a team that had a different lineup for each of its four tournament starts. Only junior Bo Hoag played in each tournament and two of those four starts resulted in top 10 finishes for the 2009 Honorable Mention All-American from Upper Arlington, Ohio.

The strongest finish for Ohio State came at the Fighting Irish Gridiron where the Buckeyes were runners-up in the 15-team field. The best individual Buckeye finish of the fall came at the event and was posted by Dan Charen. The sophomore tallied the best three rounds of his career at 70-74-70 en route to a runner-up finish in his first collegiate tournament.

Another bright spot came from freshman Matt Turner. In the first event of his collegiate career, the Dubai native led the Buckeyes to a sixth-place finish at the Memphis Intercollegiate.

Junior Bo Hoag concluded the 35th edition of the prominent Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic tied for 15th at 1-over, Nov. 24 in El Paso, Texas. The 2009 Honorable Mention All-America selection from Upper Arlington, Ohio, had rounds of 69-69-76. The annual event featuring the returning All-America honorees from the previous season was held on the par 71, 6,842-yard El Paso Country Club. Before the tournament began, Hoag won the nine-hole PING Putting contest.

In a poll of more than 160 college golf coaches by, The Ohio State University Golf Club was voted the top college golf course. The poll, released Nov. 17, listed the top 10 college courses and, along with Ohio State, included fellow Big Ten institutions Purdue (No. 4) and Wisconsin (No. 9).

The Ohio State University Golf Club first opened in 1938 and was designed by famed architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie. Under the direction of Buckeye legend and golf great Jack Nicklaus it underwent a major renovation in 2005 and reopened in the spring of 2006.

For the first time in 37 years, Ohio State has a new head coach at the reigns in Donnie Darr.  He was named coach of the Buckeyes June 13 following a national search and returned to his home state after serving as assistant coach at national powerhouse Oklahoma State the three previous seasons. A 1996 Kent State graduate, Darr began his coaching career at his alma mater. He was the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s golf teams in 2001-02, and was promoted to associate head coach of both programs from 2002-04. Darr also served as assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma during the 2004-05 season and head coach at the University of Akron in 2005-06.

In July, Darr added Chris Yoder as his assistant coach. Yoder came to the Buckeyes after six years at his alma mater, Wake Forest.  A native of Ashland, Ohio, he assisted under legendary coach Jerry Haas and during his time with the Demon Deacons, he helped haul in some of the most talented recruits in the country, coaching three future PGA Tour players in Bill Haas, Kyle Reifers and Webb Simpson.

After wrapping up the regular season this weekend, Ohio State will head to the Minneapolis, Minn., to compete in the Big Ten Championships April 30-May 2.