Brad Wright becomes first Buckeye to win Kepler since 1996

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State men’s golf team finished fifth Sunday in its own 40th annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, while junior Brad Wright, competing as an individual, became the first Buckeye to win the event since 1996.

The winds from Saturday died down and gave way to blue skies and sunshine in Columbus. The Buckeyes shot a team score of 301 in the final round at the par 71, 7,455-yard Scarlet Course for a three-round total of 55-over 907 in retiring Ohio State head coach Jim Brown’s final home event.

Northwestern won the event by two strokes over East Tennessee State. The Wildcats finished the tournament at 892 (+40). Northwestern and East Tennessee State both played solid final rounds with scores of 11-over and 12-over, respectively. Minnesota, in third, was six back of ETSU with Kent State another two shots behind in fourth.

Wright got off to a great start in the morning, birdying his second hole of the day, the par 4 No. 15, to build a five-shot lead. The Cambridge, Ohio, native ran into trouble on the front side but kept it fairly steady the rest of the way and shot a 5-over 76 to win by two strokes over Northwestern’s Josh Dupont.

Wright finished at 5-over 218 for the tournament after shooting two rounds of even par 71 Saturday. He is the first OSU golfer to win the Kepler since Matt Minister in 1996, who also won it as an individual.

“I’m thrilled,” Wright said. “Obviously, I wish I could have helped the team, but winning as an individual is okay. I did what I needed to do today. I knew someone wasn’t going to go out there and shoot a super low score.”

Sophomore Bo Hoag finished tied for 14th after shooting 74-78-73 for a total of 12-over 225. The only blemish on his weekend was a second round, which kept the Upper Arlington native from securing a fourth-consecutive Top 10 finish. 

Patrick Simard had a tough day, only carding one birdie and shooting a 6-over 77. The native of Marbella, Spain, finished in 17th position at 13-over 226. Simard shot 73-76 in his opening two rounds.

Vaughn Snyder and Brad Smith finished tied for 26th and 29th, respectively, Snyder, a senior from Massillon, Ohio, was 17-over for the tournament, opening with rounds of 75 and closing with an 80. Smith, a sophomore from Peru, Ind., shot 75-76-80 to finish at 18-over 231.

Rounding out the Buckeyes was sophomore Michael Cress. The Dublin, Ohio, native finished tied for 43rd after rounds of 78-82-75 for a total of 22-over 235.

David Becher, competing as an individual, shot a final round 74, his lowest as a collegian. The Dublin, Ohio, native’s round was highlighted by an eagle-birdie stretch on hole Nos. 6 and 7. 

The Buckeyes wrap up the regular season next weekend at the Aggie Invitational, April 18-19. The 54-hole event will be contested at the Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas.

Robert Kepler Intercollegiate Final Results
The Ohio State University Golf Club Scarlet Course, Columbus, Ohio
Par 71, 7,455 yards

 Team Standings Scores 1. Northwestern 301-296-295892 (+40) 2. East Tennessee St. 295-303-296894 (+42) 3. Minnesota 305-299-296900 (+48) 4. Kent State 300-299-303902 (+50) 5. OhioState  297-309-301907(+55) 6. Middle Tennessee St. 311-303-300914 (+62) T-7. Iowa 307-312-299918 (+66) T-7. Eastern Michigan 308-299-311918 (+66) 9. Wisconsin 308-305-307920 (+68) 10. Notre Dame 309-315-305929 (+77) 11. Penn State 316-310-311937 (+85) 12. Temple 310-309-323942 (+90) 13. Marshall  312-318-319949 (+97)   Ohio State Results Scores T-14. Bo Hoag 74-78-73225 (+12) 17. Patrick Simard 73-76-77226 (+13) T-26. Vaughn Snyder 75-75-80230 (+8) T-29. Brad Smith 75-80-76231 (+13) T-43. Michael Cress 78-82-75235 (+22)   Ohio State Individuals Scores 1. Brad Wright 71-71-76218 (+5) T-39. Evan Wood 78-78-78234 (+21) T-39. Dan Charen 78-81-75234 (+21) T-53. Tanner Murphy 79-81-77237 (+24) T-53. Dan Rush 77-78-82237 (+24) T-56. Alex Redfield 78-81-79238 (+25) T-60. Michael Kinkopf 79-82-78239 (+26) T-66. David Becher 82-84-74240 (+27) T-71.  Kevin Grabeman 79-88-80247 (+34)