Buckeyes Back for Big Ten Match Play Championship

Feb. 13, 2014




COLUMBUS, Ohio - In the opening event of its spring slate, the Ohio State men's golf team will compete at the 2014 Big Ten Match Play Championship Friday and Saturday in Bradenton, Fla. Taking place on the par 72, 7,474-yard course at The Concession Golf Club, the championship will serve as an opportunity for the Buckeyes to face-off against members of the Big Ten Conference.

2014 Big Ten Match Play Championship
The Concession Golf Club - Bradenton, Fla.
7,474 yards - Par 72
Field (12 Teams - Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings):

Illinois (5)
Iowa (46)
Michigan State
Northwestern (33)
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue (42)

Schedule of Play:
Friday, Feb. 14 - Round One (7:30 a.m.), Quarter Finals (12 p.m.)
Saturday, Feb. 15 - Semi-finals (7:30 a.m.), Finals (1 p.m.)

The Ohio State lineup will feature one junior, two sophomores and three freshmen in the five play, one substitute format.

Leading the way is junior Boo Timko, who has a team-best 72.87-stroke average. Sophomores Tee-k Kelly and Michael Bernard will also make the journey. Kelly holds the team's second-top stroke average with a 73.73, while Bernard has three tournaments under his belt this season.

Certainly a young squad overall, Ohio State will travel freshmen Frederik Hammer, Clark Engle, and Addison Coll. Hammer has competed in each tournament during his rookie campaign, holding a 73.43 stroke average. Clark was consistent in his first start for the Buckeyes at the Rod Myers Invitational, completing all three rounds with a 3-over 75. This will be Coll's first competitive appearance with the team.

Competition begins Friday with eight Big Ten Conference squads vying in the first round. The teams are seeded based on their final fall placement in accordance with the Golfweek/Sagarin collegiate rankings. The top four seeds will receive first-round byes. In turn, Ohio State, the fifth seed, will square off in the first round of play against 12th-seeded Nebraska.

The quarterfinal matchups will pit top-seeded Illinois against the winner for No. 8 Michigan - No. 9 Michigan State, fourth-seeded Iowa against the winner of No. 5 Ohio State - No. 12 Nebraska, second-seeded Purdue against the winner of No. 7 Minnesota and No. 10 Penn State, as well as third-seeded Northwestern against No. 9 Indiana and No. 11 Wisconsin. Each pairing consists of five individual matches between schools with each competing for a team point.

Play will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET Friday with the Buckeyes teeing off among the first wave. Semifinal and title matches for both the championship and consolation brackets will take place Saturday.

Last season, Ohio State earned its third-straight semifinal appearance at the Big Ten Match Play Championship, which also took place at The Concessions Golf Club. Ultimately placing fourth in the standings, the Buckeyes faced eventual champion Illinois in the semifinal and fell 5-0. The squad then followed with a 3-1-1 loss to Iowa to take fourth. 

Illinois enters Match Play as the fifth-ranked team in the nation, as well as the top-seeded squad in the tournament. Individually, Brian Campbell leads the Fighting Illini with a 70.33 stroke average.

Other teams ranked in the Top 50 nationally include No. 33 Northwestern, No. 42 Purdue and No. 46 Iowa. Thus far this season, the Buckeyes have competed against Indiana, Northwestern, Michigan, Purdue, Iowa and Penn State.

The Buckeyes began their 2013-14 campaign at the Northern Intercollegiate in Sugar Grove, Ill. Totaling an 895 at the conclusion of the three-day tournament, Ohio State placed seventh out of 15 teams competing. Big Ten foe Indiana was also in attendance.

Traveling to Lake Forest, Ill. was next on the agenda for the Buckeye squad. The team competed at the Windon Memorial, tying for fourth with an 11-over 875 total. This time the field was Big Ten heavy with Northwestern, Michigan, Purdue, Iowa and Penn State carding scores.

Ohio State then hosted the Jack Nicklaus Invitational, Sept. 29-30, on the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club. It was an eighth-place finish this time around for the Buckeyes. California took the team title, while Big Ten member Purdue tied for fourth.

Junior Boo Timko was the standout in the Scarlet and Gray at the Rod Myers Invitational, finishing fourth in the individual standings. Ohio State was 15-over 879 overall for eighth place.

Moving onto the Royal Oaks Invitational, Ohio State placed ninth with a score of 8-over 1073. Freshman Fredrick Hammer recorded the lowest total for the Buckeyes with a 4-under 209 performance for 15th place.

The sixth edition of the Big Ten Match Play Championship will take place on the Jack Nicklaus designed The Concession Golf Course in Bradenton, Fla. The course was created through a collaboration between the Buckeye great, Nicklaus, and Troy Jacklin to emulate the spirit of the Ryder Cup.

The 18-hole, par-72 course was named Best New Private Course of 2006 by Golf Digest Magazine and, according to the U.S. Golf Association, holds one of the highest Course and Slope Ratings.

Both days of the tournament are projected to be clear of any precipitation, according to Weather.com. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-to-high 60s with wind speeds below 10 mph. 

Juniors Boo Timko and Grant Weaver and freshman Frederik Hammer were the three Buckeyes named to the Big Ten 2013 Players to Watch List, the conference announced Sept. 4.

Timko earned PING All-Midwest honors and was named to the All-Big Ten Championship Team in 2013. He also earned All-Big Ten second team accolades last season. A Girard, Ohio, native, Timko notched a team-best 72.96 stroke average and played in all 12 tournaments.

Weaver averaged a 73.71 stroke coming in second on the team in 2013. A Wooster, Ohio, product, Weaver competed in all 12 tournaments with 27 of 32 rounds counting towards the team score.

Hammer, in his first season with the program, is from Rungsted, Denmark.

The Scarlet and Gray will suit up for the USF Invitational in Sarasota, Fla. March 2-4.