Feb. 8, 2003
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 12 Ohio State women’s golf team will head to Palos Verdes, Calif., to compete in the eighth annual Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge. The event will begin Monday, Feb. 10 with the final round on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The tournament, hosted by The Ohio State University, will be held at the par 71 Palos Verdes Golf Club (5,912 yards). First-round play begins at 9 a.m. Pacific Time Monday with the second round continuing at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The final round will begin Wednesday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Live scoring and complete results will be available at www.golfstat.com.
NOTING THE REGIONAL CHALLENGE
The Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge will feature 18 teams, 17 of which participated in the 2002 National Championships. The field includes Arizona, Arizona State, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA and USC. Tulsa claimed the 2002 team championship with a score of 870 while Arizona’s Lorena Ochoa earned top individual honors with a mark of 206. In the seven-year history of the event, the 2000 Arizona Wildcats’ mark of 869 has been the lowest team score. Ochoa’s 206 last year was the lowest by an individual.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
All 18 teams participating in the Regional Challege are among the Top 50 ranked teams in the nation. Defending tournament champion Arizona has earned the No. 1 spot in the latest Golfweek Poll. The Wildcats also have the No. 1 individual player in Erica Blasberg. Oklahoma State has grabbed the No. 2 ranking. Individuals Annie Thurman, Karin Sjodin and Linda Wessberg are ranked 23rd, 31st and 39th, respectively. Mikaela Parmlid of USC, Violeta Retamoza of Tennessee, Oklahoma’s Lisa Meldrum, Kari Damron of Purdue and Pepperdine’s Lindsey Wright are other top individuals to watch in the event.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State is currently ranked 12th in the Golfweek/Sagarin perfmorance index. Individually, junior Allison Hanna is ranked 14th with sophomore Kristen White at No. 20. Lindsay Knowlton also is ranked in the Top 100 at No. 77.
The Buckeyes finished fourth or better, posting a record of 33-11-1 in four tournaments during the fall season. Ohio State began the season with a trip across the Pacific to compete in the Topy Cup in Tokyo, Japan. The squad finished second, shooting 875, the lowest team score during the fall season. The Buckeyes posted a fourth-place finish (912) at the NCAA Fall Preview held in West Lafayette, Ind., site of the 2003 NCAA Championships. Ohio State earned third-place finishes at both the Mason Rudolph Championships (902) and Tar Heel Invitational (888). Kristen White recorded a season-high second-place finish (212) at the Tar Heel Invitation. White’s 212 is the lowest tournament score for the Scarlet and Gray this season. Allison Hanna also had a season-high finish at the event, placing third individually. Hanna is the only Buckeye to post Top 5 finishes in all four fall tournaments.
Juniors Allison Hanna and Jennifer Borowiec will serve as Buckeye co-captains in 2002-03. Hanna is a two-year letterwinner at Ohio State and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2001. Borowiec is a one-year letter winner and was given the Buckeye Power Club Award last year for displaying excellence and leadership in the weight room.
The women’s golf team continued to build one of the premier programs in the nation, earning its school-record sixth-consecutive berth in the NCAA championships. Ohio State won three tournament titles (Mason Rudolph Championships, Verizon “Mo”Morial and the Big Ten championships) and two individual medalsit honors while competing in 13 tournaments. Big Ten freshman of the year Kristen White posed the second-lowest stroke average (76.2) for a freshman in school history. The squad began its season in record-setting fashion at the Mason Rudolph Championships, setting a tournament-low 861 and a single round low 297. Ohio State won the Big Ten championships and named four players to the All-Big Ten team. The Buckeyes tied for second place at the NCAA central regional and went on to finish eighth at the NCAA championships.
GET TO KNOW COACH HESSION
Therese Hession, the Ohio State women’s golf coach, has provided the spark necessary to revitalize the program. The former LPGA tour professional became the seventh head coach in the program’s history in 1991, leading the Buckeyes to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten championships. The following season, her team took the title and Hession received the Big Ten coach of the year award. In the 1994-95 season, Ohio State placed second at the Big Ten championships, advancing to the NCAA east regionals. In 1996-97, her finest season as a Buckeye, Hession was voted Big Ten, Midwest District and National coach of the year, steering the team to an 8th-place NCAA finish and five first-place finishes, including the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA Eastern Regional Championship.
In 2001-02, Hession’s Buckeyes captured the Big Ten Championship and made an eighth-place finish at the NCAA championships in Auburn, Wash. Hession was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time as the head coach at Ohio State.
A full-time professional golfer for 11 years, Hession competed in more than 250 LPGA tournaments. She was among the Top 150 in all-time LPGA career money-winners when she wrapped up her career in 1991. As a collegiate player for SMU, Hession led the Mustangs to a national championship in 1979, while earning All-America laurels. She graduated with honors, acquiring a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
The Buckeyes continue the spring schedule with the 31st annual SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational March 9-11 at the University Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.