VERONA, Wis. – The Ohio State women’s golf team punched its ticket to the NCAA Championships after tying for fourth at 1-under at its NCAA Regional Wednesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, Wis. As one of the Top 6 teams of the 18 at the Regional, Ohio State will head to Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., May 18-23 and take part in its 22nd NCAA Championships and sixth in the last eight seasons.
“I’m so proud of the effort and determination our team showed,” Therese Hession, Ohio State head coach, said. “We had a variety of weather conditions in the final round and they were unflappable. I am very proud of the progress they have made in each of their games this year.”
In addition, junior Jaclyn Lee followed her Big Ten Championships medalist honors with a tie for second at the Regional at 8-under.
Duke won the Regional at 14-under, followed by Virginia at 5-under, Southern California at 2-under, the Buckeyes and Arizona State at 1-under and Northwestern rounding out the NCAA Championships qualifiers at even-par.
With inclement weather in the forecast, the tournament was forced into a final-round shotgun start and the Buckeyes came out of the gates strong, holding a six-stroke buffer from seventh place toward the end of the first nine holes. However, that lead evaporated after 14 holes before the Buckeyes received a critical birdie from Lee on the par-5 2nd hole, her 16th hole of the day, and Rio Watanabe and Adeena Shears each notched a huge birdie on one of their final two holes to seal it as Ohio State tallied the best round of the day at 2-under.
After Lee’s runner-up effort, the Buckeyes received a strong showing from junior Niki Schroeder, who finished tied for 17th at even-par, and senior Rio Watanabe, who birdied two of her final five holes to tie for 37th at 3-over. Sophomore Adeena Shears, who also had an important birdie down the stretch, tied for 50th at 6-over while fellow sophomore Alex Wright also birdied two of her last five holes to tie for 54th at 7-over.
For the tournament, the Buckeyes were the best in the field by four strokes in par-3 scoring at 6-over and ranked second in par-5 scoring at 21-under. Ohio State’s three eagles were the most of any team in the field and the 45 birdies marked the fifth-most of the 18 teams.
Individually, Lee was the best in the 96-compeitor field at 10-under on the par-5’s while Schroeder, Watanabe and Shears tied for third in par-3 scoring at even-par. Lee’s 13 birdies tied for fourth at the Regional.
T-4th Team 293-284-286-863 (-1)
T-2nd – Jaclyn Lee 71-68-69-208 (-8)
T-17th – Niki Schroeder 75-69-72-216 (E)
T-37th – Rio Watanabe 75-71-73-219 (+3)
T-50th – Adeena Shears 74-76-72-222 (+6)
T-54th – Alex Wright 73-76-74-223 (+7)