(Photo courtesy Ohio State Athletics. Tournament information courtesy of Ohio State Athletics Department. Tournament scoring and statistics courtesy of BirdieFire)
The Buckeyes were off to San Marcos, TX for the Jim West Challenge played October 28th – 29th. This is their final tournament on their Fall Schedule in the 2018 – 2019 season.
This is 54 holes (three rounds) of stroke play. Thirty-six holes were Monday and eighteen on Tuesday.
The Kissing Tree Golf Club was set up to a length of 6,185 yards and played to par 72. This appears to be a “blend” of holes using the course’s Back and KT tees. I’ll guess that the course would be rated somewhat around 70 with a slope approximately 128 from this set-up. For comparison, the course I play is a bit longer with a rating/slope of 70.2/113.
This course is set in Texas’ Hill Country, so as you might expect, the players have to deal with some elevation changes. What I think is the bigger issue is the tightness of the course. The fairways are lined with trees and more trees. Length will not be a requirement; accuracy will be.
The team format is a “play 5, count 4”.
The fifteen team field is:
Florida State, Houston, Memphis, Miami (FL), Mississippi State, Missouri, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, TCU,Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, UNLV
The Buckeyes will tee it up with:
- Adeena Shears | Jr.
- Niki Schroeder | Sr.
- Alanis Sakuma | So.
- Sofia Seldemirova | So.
- Yukie Sasaki | So.
Indiv – Lauren Peter | So.
This is an interesting lineup combination. for the Buckeyes. Senior Jaclyn Lee currently participating in the LPGA’s Q-Series event. Aside from Senior Niki Schroeder, this Buckeye contingent at the Jim West should pretty much be the (default) core of the 2019-2020 team. This could be a bit of prescient “time travel”.
That’s the set-up. How’d it go?
The Buckeyes shot rounds of 295-295-301-891 (+27) to finish in 12th place. It seemed the players had each settled into a scoring range. Adeena, Sofia, Yukie and Lauren all shot in the mid-70’s and with 2 strokes of their average core for the event. Niki and Alanis had more had more variance in their scores. Niki went low-70s, low 70-, high 70’s. Alanis changed it up a bit with low-80’s, low 70’s, high 70’s.
The Buckeyes were led by Niki Schroeder with a 222 (+6). Yukie Sasaki a 224 (+8), Sofia Seldemirova shot a 225 (+9), Adeena Shears a 226 (+10) and Alanis Sakuma 231 (+15).
In Individual play, Lauren Peter shot 230 (+14).
Niki finished T-35th in the 78 player field. Yukie finished T-45th, Sofia T-47th, Adeena T-51st, Lauren 62nd and Alanis T-63rd.
We Have Stats
The Buckeyes played the par-3s to an average score of 3.27, +16 to par, ranking them 13th in the field. They played the par-4s to 4.25, +37 to par, ranking them 13th. They played the par-5s to 4.92, -5 to par, ranking them T-7th.
Ohio State had 38 birdies (T-9th) and 157 pars (12th). The Buckeyes had 65 bogeys in the three rounds. They had nine double bogeys spread fairly evenly among the three rounds and one “other”, incurred in the opening round.
|Jim West Challenge||Rd 1||Rd 2||Rd 3||Total||To Par|
|Lauren Peter (I)||77||76||77||230||14|
Niki went around the course in rounds of 71-72-79-222. Her first two rounds were pretty solid, although things got a little squirrely in the final round. As the most “tenured” Buckeye on the course, I expected her to play well and she did.
Her 8 birdies were tied for 2nd most by any Buckeye. Her 34 pars were also second most and her 10 bogeys were tied for the least by a Buckeye.
Yukie shot rounds of 75-75-74-224. This is her second consecutive event where her scores have been within a stroke of each other. Consistent, consistent, consistent… Her rounds were solid, especially when looking at her play on the back nine. Yukie’s aggregate scoring on the homeward nine for all three rounds was -3.
Yukie also had 8 birdies in this event. She had 33 pars and team low 10 bogeys, but 3 double bogeys.
Sofia had rounds of 75-77-73-225. She didn’t ‘go low’, but really didn’t have any off-putting big numbers to offset. Her most impressive play was in the final round. She opened with four pars before a bogey. She closed with 13 consecutive pars for her 73. Easy peasy.
Her 5 birdies were tied for the least by any Buckeye. On the other hand, her 36 pars led the Buckeyes. She had 12 bogeys (pretty good, actually) and only one double bogey.
Adeena toured the course in rounds of 74-76-76-226. Nothing really got away from her. Adeena’s nine hole scores ranged from even par to +3. She did have one entertaining stretch of holes in her final round front nine. In her first seven holes, she had; 1 double bogey, 2 birdies, three bogeys and a par-par finish for three pars. It was an exciting two hours.
Adeena had 8 birdies for the three rounds. She had 34 pars, 16 bogeys and one double.
Lauren had rounds of 77-76-77-230. Playing as an Individual, Lauren’s 2nd round maybe epitomized the tournament for Ohio State of stretches of vastly different play. She couldn’t get anything going on her front nine with a double and three bogeys getting her to the turn at +5. In contrast, her back nine saw the eagle and 2 birdies propel her to a -1.
Lauren had 4 birdies for the three rounds. Her 33 pars were tied for the 2nd most by any Buckeye. Lauren had 13 bogeys and three doubles. Lauren had the only eagle this event for the Buckeyes.
Alanis had rounds of 81-72-78-231. Alanis’ game was run of stretches, both good and not so good. For example, in her second round she had a four hole stretch on the front nine where she was +5. It was preceded by three consecutive birdies. It was followed by a ten hole stretch where she was -2. Golf is a funny game…
Her 9 birdies were the most by any Buckeye, as were her 17 bogeys. Alanis had 25 pars, two double bogeys and a triple bogey.
A Few Takeaways
This was the second consecutive tournament with a fairly close clustering of scoring. No one went ‘low’; there was one round of 71. No one went off the rails, an 81 was the high round. The majority of the scores were bunched in the 74-77 range.
The Buckeyes played different stretches/combinations of holes very differently. For instance, holes #6 – #8, all par-4s in the 360-390 yard range were a nightmare for the Buckeyes. Over the three rounds, the five team players (Niki, Adeena, Alanis, Sofia, Yukie) played the course in an aggregate of +48 to par. These three holes were played in an aggregate of +28 to par. If any holes were the nemesis, these were it. In contrast, three of the par-5s (#3, #5, #17) were played to an aggregate of -4 to par.
All in all, I think there was a lot of positive play that came out of this tournament. There were stretches of so-so play and stretches of spectacular play. Coaches Hession & Snider have the “positive” coaching points regarding their good stretches. The can work on the “constructive” points to uncouple the so-so play stretches.
That’s a wrap for the Fall portion of the 2018 – 2019 season. Their next event is a big one. The Buckeyes head to the Left Coast (Palos Verdes, CA) for the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge. The tournament is scheduled for February 3rd – 5th. This will be the 24th year that Ohio State has hosted this event.