Ohio State freshman will be competing against her grandmother’s team this weekend at Scarlet
When freshman Rachel Rohanna was younger, her grandmother, Roseann Schwartz, would tease that only the big girls could hit the farthest balls. Now, Rohanna is one of the ‘big girls’ and ready to show her grandmother and the rest of the Ohio State women’s golf team what she is capable of.
Teeing off on their own Scarlet Course, Rohanna and the Buckeyes will look to defend the title of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational this weekend. Competing at home for the first time, Rohanna admitted to some nerves before the tournament.
“I was already getting nervous like a week in advance,” the Waynesburg, Pa., native said. “I think it’s just because I’m playing at home. I know a lot of family members are coming so it’s going to be a bigger gallery I guess. It’s going to be a little more nerve-wracking.”
Among the family members traveling to Columbus is Rohanna’s grandmother. But she won’t be in the gallery. The current head coach at Youngstown State, Schwartz will be at the Lady Buckeye as her competition.
“I’m not normally around her in this kind of situation and I would want her to know that I’m thinking about her on the course the whole time,” Schwartz said. “But I probably won’t get to see her play because I’ll be on the course with my team.”
Hired by then-athletic director Jim Tressel, Schwartz has coached the Penguins since their inaugural season in 1996. A Class A LPGA member in the Teaching and Club Professional Division, Schwartz has helped to mold the game of both her granddaughter and the YSU golfers.
“She probably doesn’t realize it, but I do listen to her [golf advice],” Rohanna said. “I never really told her before that it helps.”
But no matter who is on the course, Rohanna’s goal for the weekend is simple – to win.
“I just want to play well and the outcome will take care of itself,” she said. “I want to do the best that I can and help the team out. She’s still my grandma, but I’m not going to take it lightly on her team.”
In her rookie season Rohanna has already led Ohio State at two events, but that is nothing surprising to Schwartz.
“I never played as well as Rachel does now. I’ve played a lot of golf, but not like Rachel,” Schwartz said. “I used to tease her and say that the big girls hit the ball far and she’s now one of those big girls.”
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