SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - The Ohio State University women's golf team grinded out a team total of 311 (+23) in deplorable weather conditions during Day One of the NCAA Championships. Ohio State played through the cold, wind and rain better than most, sitting in a four-way tie for third place among the last 24 teams standing across the country.
-- Ohio State W Golf (@OhioState_WGOLF) May 20, 2017
The Buckeyes, ranked 25th nationally, are next to No. 1 Stanford, No. 7 Arizona State and No. 17 Baylor after 18 holes. At 23-over, the foursome is 10 strokes back of event leader and 12th-ranked Northwestern -- but also nine ahead of the upcoming 54-hole, 15-team cut line and four shots clear of ninth place (eight teams after 72 holes advance to match play).
Ohio State, playing alongside Michigan and Purdue, were the first group to tee off early Friday morning. The Buckeyes shot 14-over on the Front 9 before a blistering start to the Back 9. Three of five Buckeyes birdied the 10th hole and OSU was under par as a team heading to the 14th tee. The final two holes weren't so kind, however, adding seven strokes to the Buckeye total.
Among the 12 teams competing in the morning wave of tee times, Ohio State and Baylor reigned supreme. *The morning wave team average was 319.8 with a player scoring clip of 81.2. The Buckeyes registered rates of 311 and 78.6.
*statistical information provided by Golfweek's Lance Ringler
Ohio State tallied eight birdies on the day, good for second most in the field. Niki Schroeder was one of only nine players (out of 132) to drop three or more birdies. Katja Pogacar and Rio Watanabe were also able to manage a pair of birdies each despite the tough conditions.
Pogacar cracked the individual top-5, carding a 2-over 74. She is two strokes away from the peak of the individual leaderboard (E) entering Day Two. Co-leaders August Kim (Purdue) and Elodie Van Dievoet (Michigan) are coincidently paired with Pogacar for the second round and a 1:14 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET tee time off of the 10th hole.
Schroeder, Jaclyn Lee and Jessica Porvasnik all finished inside the top half as well, each separated by a lone shot. Schroeder is 6-over and tied for 34th place, followed by Lee (+7; T-44th) and Porvasnik (+8; T-57th).