May 21, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s golf team has earned its fifth-consecutive berth in the NCAA Championships. This year, the Buckeyes travel to Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., for the event, looking to end their sensational season on a high note. Hosted by Stetson University, the championships begin Tuesday at the par-72 El Campeon Golf Course.
The NCAA Championships
The NCAA Championships feature a deep and talented field again this year. The 24-team field is highlighted by defending national champion Arizona, which blitzed through the West Regional to win by 20 strokes. 1999 national champion Duke is the top-ranked team in the nation this season and is one of the favorites to claim the title. Three Big Ten teams – Ohio State, Michigan State and Purdue – will participate in the competition. The features four rounds over four days.
OSU’s NCAA Tournament History
Ohio State is making its 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 11th in the NCAA Championships. The Buckeyes are making their school-record seventh-consecutive appearance in NCAA postseason play. 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 2001 Therese Hession – Bucks Take Fifth at West Regional
Ohio State earned its school-record fifth-consecutive NCAA Championships berth after taking fifth place at the NCAA West Regional, hosted by Oregon State at the par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore. OSU shot a 906 (+42) over three rounds, qualifying for the championships with its Top-8 finish. The Buckeyes shot a 302 (+14) in the final round as they maintained fifth place from start to finish. Mollie Fankhauser continued to post low scores as she finished with a career-low 214 (-2). She finished in fourth place and was one of only four players to break par on Saturday. Natalie Aber also had a stellar tournament, carding the second-lowest mark of her career (222), as she notched 11th place.
OSU Makes 2nd Trip to El Campeon
Ohio State played on the El Campeon Golf Course Sept. 15-16 in the NCAA Fall Preview. The Buckeyes tied for 14th place in the 21-team field, firing a 639 over two rounds before the impending arrival of Hurricane Gordon forced the cancellation of the final round. Mollie Fankhauser led the Buckeyes with a 27th-place 153 (+7), while Allison Hanna and Natalie Aber tied for 50th (157).
Mollie Pushes Toward No. 1
Mollie Fankhauser’s season ranks among the best of any golfer in OSU history. Her stroke average heading into the national championships is 74.43. The lowest average for a season in OSU history is 72.4, set by Cheryl Stacy during the 1983-84 season.
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 honors.
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.
Another Star in the Making?
Allison Hanna’s freshman season ranks among the best of any rookie in OSU history. Hanna posted a 76.66 stroke average through 12 tournaments. Only Cheryl Stacy, with a 75.22 average in 1982-83, 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.
Last Year at Nationals
Ohio State started off well at the 2000 NCAA Championships, but struggled over the final three rounds en route to a 20th-place finish in Sunriver, Ore. OSU shot a 298 in the first round, but faltered down the stretch with rounds of 310-314-318 to conclude the tournament. Lisa Strom concluded her collegiate career with a 34th-place 303. Ashley Lowery (312), Mollie Fankhauser (316), Natalie Aber (319) and Amber Amstutz (319) rounded out the Buckeyes’ scorecard.
Ohio State has re-written the record books this season with eye-popping numbers. The Buckeyes set a school-record low for a single round April 29 with a 284 in the third round of the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, breaking the previous low of 286, set at the 1998 LBSI. Earlier this season, the Buckeyes set a school record for a 54-hole tournament with a score of 8801 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 2001 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 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 10 of 12 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 in the Buckeye lineup and produced this season, competing in all 35 rounds while posting Top-20 finishes in eight of 12 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.
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.
Career Bests Galore at LBSI
Several Ohio State players lowered their personal bests at the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational April 22. Natalie Aber (67), Jamie Rishel (72) and Jennifer Borowiec (73) all set 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-5 finishes in nine of its 12 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 one in all of the 1999-00 season.
Buckeyes Earn High Rankings
Three Buckeyes have earned high marks in the latest national rankings. Fankhauser is ranked 20th in the Golfweek and MasterCard rankings. Allison Hanna is No. 76 in the Golfweek and MasterCard rankings, while Natalie Aber has earned the No. 79 position in the MasterCard standings. Aber’s national ranking this week marks her first career position in the national individual rankings.
More High Marks
Ohio State stands 13th in the latest MasterCard rankings (5/16). The Buckeyes also hold No. 18 in the Golfweek rankings and GolfWorld poll.
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 and served as captain in 1998. A 1998 graduate of OSU, she was a key member of the 1997 Big Ten and NCAA East Regional championship teams.
School Record at Shootout
Ohio State’s 54-hole 880 at the Shootout at the Legends (10/9-10) was a school record. It clipped the previous low of 881, set at the 1998 Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational.
This year’s Buckeye team 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.
Hession Signs Top-Notch Class
Ohio State head coach Therese Hession announced Nov. 16 the signing of three nationally-prominent student-athletes for the 2001-02 school year. Lindsay Knowlton of Toronto, Ontario, Jennifer Selfinger of Columbus and Kristen White of Doylestown, Pa., have signed national letters of intent to play for the Scarlet and Gray next season. Knowlton is the No. 1-ranked junior player in Ontario. In 2000, she captured titles at the Ontario Junior, York District and Ontario Match Play championships. She took fourth place at the Ontario Amateur and Canadian Junior championships. She also garnered 14th at the AJGA Betsy Rawls Championship. Selfinger is one of Ohio’s top prospects. A four-year letterwinner on the Groveport varsity boys’ golf team and two-time first-team All-Ohio selection, she took third place at the 2000 Ohio girls’ state championship after earning fifth last year. Selfinger was a second-team All-Ohio selection as a sophomore, taking 10th place at the state meet. She won the 2000 Southern Ohio PGA Junior Championship and the Ohio State Girls Championship at the Marion Country Club last summer. White earned 2000 AJGA Honorable Mention All-America honors, taking ninth place at the 2000 Pennsylvania high school state championship. She captured medalist honors at the 2000 Pennsylvania District I Championships, AJGA Clubcorp Junior Championship and Pennsylvania Girls Junior Amateur, and is a two-time champion of the Suburban One League Championships. She qualified for match play at the 2000 U.S. Girls Junior Championship, making the cut after 36 holes of stroke play.
OSU Head Coach Therese Hession
Under the guidance of head coach Therese Hession, the Ohio State women’s golf team has experienced a dramatic turnaround as a competitive force not just within the conference, but around the nation as well. The upswing is as much a product of Hession’s strong character and commitment as it is the quality of her instruction. Since becoming the program’s head coach in 1991, she has led the Buckeyes to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and five NCAA Championship berths. The three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year has guided the program to three Big Ten Championships and Top-3 league finishes in all but two of her campaigns. With three tournament wins this season, Hession’s teams have accumlated 23 wins in her 10 seasons at the helm. Her teams have had at least one tournament win in each of her seasons at OSU. A strong proponent of education, Hession’s players have earned numerous academic awards. She has coached 33 Academic All-Americans, 12 National Academic All-Americans and 45 OSU Scholar-Athletes. She also has coached two All-Americans, 17 All-Big Ten picks and three Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees. A collegiate player at Southern Methodist, 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. In January 1980, after just three months on the Women’s Professional Golf Tour, she earned her LPGA tour card.