March 1, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State men's golf team will hit the course for the USF Invitational Sunday, March 2 through Tuesday, March 4. Taking place on the par 72, 7,153-yard South Course at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, the match will feature a strong field of 17 teams, including the Buckeyes.
Name: 2014 USF Invitational
Course: Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club - Dade City, Fla.
Field (17 Teams - Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings):
College of Charleston
Florida State (19)
South Florida (28)
THE BUCKEYE LINEUP
The Ohio State lineup will feature one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen.
Leading the way is junior Boo Timko, who has a team-best 72.87-stroke average through 15 rounds. Sophomores Tee-k Kelly and Max Rosenthal will also make the journey. Kelly holds the team's second-top stroke average with a 73.73, while Rosenthal has three appearances with the team after competing individually at the Northern Intercollegiate and Windon Memorial.
Certainly a young squad overall, Ohio State will travel freshmen Frederik Hammer and Clark Engle. Hammer has competed in each tournament during his rookie campaign, holding a 73.43 stroke average. Engle was consistent in his first start for the Buckeyes at the Rod Myers Invitational, completing all three rounds with a 3-over 75.
Timko, Kelly, Hammer and Engle all contributed to Ohio State's eighth-place showing at the Big Ten Match Play Championship.
LAST TIME OUT
Entering the Big Ten Match Play Championships as the fifth seed overall, the Buckeyes concluded its time at the conference challenge in ranked eighth.
The Scarlet and Gray split the first day, winning a contest against Nebraska (3-2) and falling to Iowa in a tiebreak (2-2-1). Boo Timko and Tee-k Kelly led the way for the squad, finishing both their matches victorious.
On the second and final day of competition, Ohio State dropped both matches to earn eighth. Almost every individual match came down to the wire when the Buckeyes took on ninth seeded Indiana. Ultimately, OSU came up short falling to a score of 3-2. Next up was Illinois, who took the match 2-2-1. Timko was once again Ohio State's standout, defeating each opponent he was face with in the tournament.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
In one of the largest fields Ohio State has faced this season, the Buckeyes will tangle with a wide range of opponents.
Leading the field rankings wise is Illinois. Ohio State faced the Fighting Illini head-to-head recently at the Big Ten Match Play Championship, falling in a 2-2-1 tiebreaker. Joining Illinois in the Top 25 is No. 19 Florida State and No. 24 Auburn.
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 USF Invitational will take place at the Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club. The club features two courses - the north and the south. PGA Tour great Tom Lehman as well as award-winning golf course architect Kurt Sandness designed the south course. Sandess also had his hand in the design of the north course. One of the most prominent features of the south course is the hilly terrain. In fact, the Par 5-11th hole features a 94-foot drop from tee to green, which ranks as the largest natural elevation change of any course in the state of Florida.
It looks like the Buckeyes will be escaping the chilly confines of Ohio for high-temps in Southern Florida. Sunday and Monday is projected to be mostly sunny with temperatures reaching the low-eighties, according to Weather.com. Tuesday, the final day of the tournament, there is a very slight chance of rain - only 10 percent - in the morning with the sun expected to make an appearance in the afternoon. Temperatures will reach the mid-seventies. Wind speeds should not reach more than 11 mph.
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 Seahawk Invitational March 15-16 in Wilmington, North Carolina.