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tBBC OSUWG: Buckeyes Finish 2nd at Westbrook Spring Invitational


OSUWG: Buckeyes Finish 2nd at Westbrook Spring Invitational
via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


The OSUWG team has reason to smile.

This week the Ohio State Women’s Golf (OSUWG) team teed it up at the Westbrook Village Golf Club in Peoria, AZ for the Westbrook Spring Invitational.This is a three round (54 hole) event where the format is ‘play five count four’, where a school fields 5 players, and the low 4 scores for each round are counted. Each school may have a player play as an ‘individual’.

Participating schools, in no particular order, are: College of Charleston, Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, UNLV, San Diego State, Oregon State, Iowa, SMU, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Washington, Nebraska and, of course, Ohio State. Of the 15 participating teams, 6 are ranked in BirdieFire’s Top 50 (Ohio State is #44). This is a decently strong field.

The course is 6,432 yards long and plays to a par 72.

The five players participating for the Buckeyes were: Katja Pogacar, Jessica Porvasnik, Rio Watanabe and Jaclyn Lee and Niki Schroeder. Zoe-Beth Brake competed as the Individual.


The Buckeyes finished in 2nd place, 5 strokes behind winner Oregon and 2 strokes ahead of Kansas. Their final team score of -5 (to par) was powered by a team total of -4 on the final day. This was a well managed effort; they hung around par for the first two rounds, then went low to make up ground.

Ohio State placed two golfers (Jessica Porvasnik and Jaclyn Lee) in the Top 10. They recorded two eagles; Rio Watanabe’s ace on the par-3 2nd hole and Zoe-Beth Brake’s 2 on the par-4 15th.

Below is the Buckeye round by round scoring:

Westbrook Spring Invitational
Par 72 Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
Team 287 288 284 859
Katja Pogacar 76 73 69 218
Jessica Porvasnik 71 70 73 214
Rio Watanabe 79 71 76 226
Niki Schroeder 69 75 73 217
Jaclyn Lee 71 74 69 214
Zoe-Beth Brake (I) 73 75 73 221
1st Round

The Buckeyes opened play with a team score of 287 (-1), placing them in 6th position. The Buckeyes were led by Niki Schroeder 69 (-3)and Jessica Porvasnik and Jaclyn Lee with 71’s (-1). Katja Pogacar contributed to the team score with a 76 (+4). Rio Watanabe (more on her below) shot a 79 (+7). In the Individual category, Zoe-Beth Brake tooled around the course in 73 (+1).

Rio knows who is #1

Just to highlight what a fickle game golf is, Rio had an interesting round. Her “non-contributing” round was peppered with several bogeys with one notable exception. On the 169-yard par 3, Rio flushed a 7-iron into the hole for a hole-in-one! The probable odds for a player of Rio’s caliber of making a hole-in-one are 5,000:1. Yes, with odds like that, ‘luck’ comes into play. But, to bring Lady Luck onstage, the ball has to be struck on the right line and the correct distance. So, there is a good bit of skill involved also. Congratulations, Rio. That was one helluva shot!

As you might also expect from the first round, the team score was comprised of very few bogeys (8), a good many pars (55) and a good number of birdies (9).

Niki showed some course mastery with 1 bogey and 5 birdies in her round. Jessica and Jaclyn had things under control with their combined 5 birdies/3 bogeys. Katja couldn’t get any traction with 4 bogeys, but her 14 pars kept her round pretty clean.

Zoe-Beth stumbled with a double bogey 5, ironically, at same the par-3 that Rio aced in the same round. However, Zoe-Beth blistered the course with 5 birdies on her round. So, take that.

That took care of the morning’s first round.

2nd Round

In the afternoon’s 2nd round, the Buckeyes shot a team score of 288 (E). This moved the Buckeyes from 6th position to 4th position. The Buckeyes were led by Jessica Porvasnik’s 70 (-2) and Rio Watanabe’s 71 (-1). Katja Pogacar’s 73 (+1) and Jaclyn Lee’s 74 (+2) also contributed to the team score. Niki Schroeder’s 75 (+3) almost contributed to the team.. In individual competition, Zoe-Beth Brake shot a 75 (+3).

Jessica’s back-9 was well played (-3), driven by a 4 hole stretch ( #10-#13) where she recorded 3 birdies. That relieves a lot of stress. Katja kept an even keel in her round with 2 bogeys, 1 birdie and 15 pars, which included a stretch of 11 consecutive pars. Believe me, you can’t go wrong with pars.

Rio rebounded from her first round 79 with a smooth 71 (-1). She had an incredible stretch of 13 holes #1-#13 where she was 4 under par. My god, what a stretch of golf that was.

As you might guess, the team score was comprised of again, very few bogeys (9), a good many pars (51) and a good number of birdies (11). They did sneak a double bogey into the mix.

A good first day.

3rd Round

Ohio State had an effective, if not interesting 3rd round of 284 (-4) to move from 4th to 2nd place. The Buckeye Blitz was led by Katja Pogacar and Jaclyn Lee, each with 69 (-3) and Jessica Porvasnik and Niki Schroeder, each shooting 73 (+1). Rio Watanabe shot a 76 (+4) and Zoe-Beth Brake a 73 (+1) in Individual play.

The 3rd round didn’t begin well; after the 5 team players played an aggregate of 15 holes they were a combined 8 over par, a terrible start. At that point the coaches may have provided some… encouragement, since everyone then birdied the par-5 8th hole and off they went.

On Niki Schroeder’s 2nd hole of the day, the long par-5, 5th hole, Niki showed why it is the course’s toughest ranked hole; she wandered into a quadruple-bogey 9. However, after improving to a bogey and a par on the next two holes, Niki birdied the next four holes followed by 11 consecutive pars. That, my friends, is an example of ‘bounce-back’. She can only look back at the 5th hole.. Better yet, she can look back at her birdie holes #8-#11.

The short 286 yard par-4 15th hole was interesting. Jessica, Niki and Rio parred the hole while Jaclyn and Katja birdied it. Not to be outdone, Zoe-Beth holed out her 2nd shot from the fairway for an eagle 2! The team didn’t wear out their putters on that hole.

The third round team score was comprised of a several birdies (15), a good many pars (50), a few bogeys (5) and two “others”.


This tournament featured two well-played opening rounds that kept the Buckeyes in a good position for a final day run. The team overcame some early 3rd round struggles and absolutely rolled through the course on the back nine to make their move from 4th place to 2nd place.

Sifting through the chaff, here is a “what happened” snap-shot. They played the par 3’s very well (aces will do that for you), scoring an average of 3.03 strokes per hole, a total of +2 to par; ranking them 2nd. They played the par 4’s to an average of 4.05 per hole, +8 to par, ranking them 2nd. However, the par 5’s were not helpful. They played the par 5’s to an average of 4.98, -1 to par, ranking T-12th. On the surface, -1 isn’t bad, but when the best-in-category is -12, you’ve lost some shots to the field. That’s a lot of strokes to give up on holes that should offer birdie opportunities.

In terms of team play “to par” scoring, Ohio State recorded 186 pars, ranking them 4th. They recorded 39 birdies, placing them T-3rd. They recorded 1 eagle, Rio’s hole in one. Individual performance was not rolled into the statistics, but we all know that Zoe-Beth in fact, did have an eagle. In may not count in the stats, but, damn it feels good.

The team, all 6 players, did a good job of “birdie bursts” this week. In the 1st round, Niki and Zoe-Beth each had back-to-back birdies. In the 2nd round, Jessica, Jaclyn and Rio each had back-to-back birdies. In the final round, Katja had back-to-back birdies, Zoe-Beth had back-to-back eagle-birdie and Niki strung together 4 consecutive birdies. This was a team-wide display of firepower. You can bet that is something to build on for balance of season.

Interestingly, in their previous tournament, Zoe-Beth struggled in team play and Niki played well as an Individual. This week, as an Individual, Zoe-Beth played well, while Rio struggled in team play. I guess that practice over the next two weeks will determine the lineup for the next tournament, but it’s food to know that coaches Hession and Strom can comfortably mix-n-match their lineup.

The team next tees it up March 5th-6th in Gainesville, FL for the Gator Invitational.

Go Buckeyes!

The post OSUWG: Buckeyes Finish 2nd at Westbrook Spring Invitational appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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