May 9, 2001
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 12th-ranked Ohio State women’s golf team makes its seventh-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, traveling to Corvallis, Ore., this week for the NCAA West Regional. The three-round, 54-hole tournament begins Thursday at the par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Club.
The NCAA West Regional
The NCAA West Regional field is loaded, with nine of the participating teams ranked in the national polls. Defending national champion Arizona, ranked No. 2 in the MasterCard poll, highlights the field. No. 4 Southern California, No. 5 Stanford and No. 7 Tennessee also will compete in the regional. The field also features MasterCard Top-25 teams Ohio State (No. 12), Michigan State (No. 17) and Arizona State (No. 20). In addition, UCLA (No. 21) and Washington (No. 24) are ranked in the Golfweek Top 25. Seven of the 21 teams in the field are conference champions. The top eight teams at each regional tournament advance to the NCAA Championships.
Arizona, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Ohio State, Arizona State, UCLA, Michigan State, Washington, Furman, Indiana, Oregon, Memphis, Missouri, Colorado State, Nevada, Oregon State, BYU, Central Connecticut State, Weber State, Tasha Brower (Washington State), Taya Battistella (Portland State)
The Starting Lineup
Ohio State’s starting lineup for the NCAA West Regional this week:
1. Mollie Fankhauser, So., Dublin, Ohio
2. Allison Hanna, Fr., Portland, Ore.
3. Ashley Lowery, Jr., West Lafayette, Ind.
4. Natalie Aber, Jr., Akron, Ohio
5. Jennifer Borowiec, Fr., South Lyon, Mich.
OSU’s NCAA Tournament History
Ohio State is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes are making their seventh-consecutive appearance in the postseason tournament with aspirations of the program’s 11th championship berth. Following is a list of OSU’s NCAA Tournament appearances:
Year Coach NCAA Finish 1983 Steve Groves 14th 1984 Steve Groves 10th 1985 Steve Groves 13th 1988 Jana Edwards 17th 1989 Jana Edwards 17th 1993 Therese Hession 15th 1995 Therese Hession Regionals 1996 Therese Hession Regionals 1997 Therese Hession T8th 1998 Therese Hession 12th 1999 Therese Hession 11th 2000 Therese Hession T20th Keeping the Streak Alive
The Buckeyes are looking to keep an impressive streak going this week. OSU has earned four-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships, a school record. With their appearance in the NCAA Tournament this week, the Buckeyes will extend their school-record streak of tournament berths to seven.
Fankhauser Named Big Ten POY
Following her medalist performance at the Big Ten Championships, Mollie Fankhauser was named Big Ten Women’s Golfer of the Year. She becomes the first Buckeye to earn the honor since Amy Langhals in 1997. Fankhauser captured the honor after posting Top-10 finishes in nine of her 11 outings, including four medalist honors. Fankhauser is the ninth Buckeye to win player of the year laurels.
Hanna Takes Big Ten Rookie Honors
Allison Hanna was awarded for her stellar freshman season with Big Ten Freshman of the Year laurels. Hanna is the fourth Buckeye to win the honor and the first since Amber Amstutz in 1997.
More Hardware for Mollie and Allison
As part of their league honors, Mollie Fankhauser and Allison Hanna were named to the 2001 All-Big Ten team. Fankhauser headed the team as the league’s player of the year, while Hanna was the lone freshman to make the cut. The honor is the first for both players.
Buckeyes Take Sixth at Big Tens
Ohio State notched sixth place at the Big Ten Championships April 29 at the par-72 Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis, Minn. The Buckeyes struggled to a final-round 321 en route to a final score of 1,239, 20 strokes behind champion Michigan State. Mollie Fankhauser took medalist honors after shooting a four-round 301 (+13), winning the title by two strokes. Ashley Lowery tied for 10th place with a 308, while Allison Hanna notched a 14th-place finish with 312.
Another Star in the Making?
Allison Hanna’s freshman season ranks among the best of any rookie in OSU history. Hanna has posted a 76.53 stroke average through 11 tournaments. Only Cheryl Stacy, with a 75.22 average in 1982-83, has posted a lower stroke average as a freshman. Mollie Fankhauser was in the running to break Stacy’s mark last season, finishing with a 77.08 average, which stands as the third-lowest mark behind Stacy and Hanna.
Hanna Returns Home
A native of Portland, Ore., Allison Hanna will return home this week for the West Regional in Corvallis. Hanna is familiar with Oregon State’s Trysting Tree Golf Course, having played it while she was in high school at David Douglas High School. Hanna also has ties to Oregon State, as her brother attends OSU. Hanna was the 2000 Oregon state champion. She tied for medalist honors at the state championships in 1999, one year after finishing as the state runner-up.
Last Year at Regionals
Ohio State played host to the 2000 NCAA East Regional and made the most of its opportunity to play on home turf, earning a bid to the NCAA Championships with a ninth-place finish. The Buckeyes shot 299 in the first and third rounds and survived a disastrous 316 in the second round to move on with a 914. Lisa Strom became OSU’s first-ever regional medalist after shooting an even-par 216. Current Buckeyes Ashley Lowery (234, t65), Mollie Fankhauser (236, t75) and Natalie Aber (240, t94) all competed at the 2000 regional.
Ohio State has re-written the record books this season with eye-popping numbers. The Buckeyes set a school-record low for single round April 29 with a 284 in the third round, breaking the previous low of 286, set at the 1998 Lady Buckeye Spring. Earlier this season, the Buckeyes set a record for a 54-hole tournament with a score of 880 at the Shootout at the Legends, edging the previous mark of 881, set at the ’98 LBSI.
Aber Adds to Record Book
Natalie Aber’s 67 in the final round of the LBSI tied the Scarlet Course and school records. The course record of 67 was set by Arizona State’s Tui Selvaratnum in the 1997 NCAA Championships and North Carolina’s Marcy Newton in the 2000 NCAA East Regional. The school record was set by Natalie Mosher in the 1997 Lady Northern Invitational.
Something About Mollie
Mollie Fankhauser has been simply outstanding this season. Fankhauser has earned four medalist honors, winning the Midwest Classic, Lady Northern, Hatter Spring Fling and Big Ten Championship titles. She has posted Top-10 finishes in nine of 11 tournaments, recording scores under 230 in each performance. She has finished in the Top 5 in all but one of her Top-10 outings.
Allison Hanna has stepped into the Buckeye lineup and produced this season, competing in all 32 rounds while posting Top-20 finishes in eight of 11 tournaments. The Big Ten freshman of the year, Hanna already has three rounds of par or lower, including a 69 in the third round of the Lady Northern.
Bucks Use Team Effort to Win LBSI
Ohio State shot a school-record 284 (-4) April 29, rebounding from a nine-stroke deficit to win the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational at the par-72 University Scarlet Course. The Buckeyes finished with a three-round mark of 899 (+11) to win by one stroke over Michigan State, which shot a stellar 294 (+6) in the final round. All eight Buckeye golfers recorded scores under 80 in the final round as OSU claimed its fourth straight Lady Buckeye Spring title and third tournament crown this season. In the third round – for the first time all season – the Buckeyes did not count scores from Mollie Fankhauser or Allison Hanna as their teammates stepped up with the low scores – Natalie Aber (67), Ashley Lowery (71), Jennifer Borowiec (73) and Kelly Moskal (73).
Aber Amazes in Winning LBSI
To say Natalie Aber shined at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational would be one mammoth understatement. The junior concluded a stellar tournament with a 5-under-par 67 in the final round to finish with a career-low 220 as she tied for first place. Aber then defeated Kent State’s Martina Gillen on the first playoff hole en route to her first career medalist honor.
Borowiec Continues to Shine
Redshirt freshman Jennifer Borowiec has made the most of her first opportunity to play at Ohio State. After shooting a solid 244 (+22) at the Indiana Invitational, she followed it up with rounds of 79-80-73 at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational as she finished with a 232 to tie for 18th place. In 10 rounds this year, six of her scores have counted to the total OSU team score.
Career Bests Galore at LBSI
Several Ohio State players lowered their personal bests at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational last weekend. Natalie Aber (67), Jennifer Borowiec (73) and Jamie Rishel (72) all set now single-round lows in the third round, while Sara Walker set a career low (77) in the first round. Ashley Lowery (71) and Kelly Moskal (73) tied their single-round career lows. Aber (220), Borowiec (232) and Walker (240) set career bests for 54 holes.
Buckeyes Keep Scores Down
Ohio State has made a habit of posting low scores and competing for tournament titles. OSU has recorded Top-4 finishes in eight of its 11 outings, including first-place marks at the Lady Northern, Shootout at the Legends and Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational. The Buckeyes have posted three 54-hole scores under 900 – something the Buckeyes did just once in all of the 1999-00 season.
Buckeyes Earn High Rankings
Two Buckeyes have earned high marks in the latest national rankings. Mollie Fankhauser is ranked No. 20 in the latest Golfweek individual rankings, while Hanna is No. 76. In the MasterCard rankings, Fankhauser is ranked No. 39, while Hanna stands at No. 67.
More High Marks
Ohio State stands 15th in the latest MasterCard rankings. The Buckeyes also stand No. 18 in the Golfweek rankings and GolfWorld poll. OSU is ranked sixth in the Golfweek Central Regional rankings.
Bucks Welcome New Coach
Former OSU standout Marisa Wilhelm was introduced as the Buckeyes’ new assistant coach earlier this season. Wilhelm was a four-year letterwinner for OSU, captaining the squad in 1998. A 1998 graduate of OSU, she was a key member of the 1997 Big Ten and NCAA East Regional championship teams.
How Long Has It Been?
Mollie Fankhauser’s 215 at the Shootout at the Legends (10/9-10) was Ohio State’s lowest 54-hole score since Natalie Mosher carded the same score at the 1999 Liz Murphey Classic.
The 2000-01 Buckeye team truly exemplifies the definition of youth. OSU has no seniors, five juniors, one sophomore, two redshirt freshmen and two true freshmen. The Buckeyes have some experience in their favor, as all of the returning sophomores and juniors have earned letters.
Should Ohio State finish in the top eight at the NCAA West Regional, the Buckeyes will advance to the NCAA Championships. The tournament will run May 22-25 in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.