Spring has finally arrived, mostly, The Masters tournament field succumbed to Bubba-Golf and I (finally) got my first round of the year in the books. So, let’s talk golf. Specifically, Ohio State University golf.
That was Then…
The Buckeyes have had their moments on the NCAA courses, enough for me to say there is a good golf tradition at Ohio State. Although the University only has two NCAA Championship teams it can point to (1945, 1979) there are several notable players that came through Columbus. Off the top of my head, the two most notable were Jack Nicklaus (turned pro in ’61) followed closely by Tom Weiskopf (turned pro in ’64). The other two that come to mind are John Cook (turned pro in ’79) and the pride of Horseheads NY, Joey Sindelar (turned pro in ’81).
While at Ohio State, Nicklaus won three top amateur tournaments, was NCAA champion and came in 2nd in the U.S. Open (won by Arnold Palmer). Weiskopf also won a top amateur event. Cook won five top amateur events, and Sindelar won only one event. However, Sindelar was a three-time All-American at Ohio State and in 1981 was voted the OSU Athlete of the Year.
This is Now..
This is Coach Donnie Darr’s 4th season as head coach for Ohio State. An alumnus of Kent State, Darr’s previous coaching stop was as an assistant at Oklahoma State, a really good collegiate program. Darr has done a nice job of recruiting, bringing in some young talent and at manageable numbers so there is a good balance of experience on the team. The Buckeyes have a fairly young roster, comprising of 4 juniors, 4 sophomores and 4 freshmen. Ohio State’s four “starting” golfers, on a roster of 12 are:
Based on the above table, these young sticks are all pretty good, with Timko and Hammer clearly the lead golfers, based upon the number of low rounds. Also, Boo and Tee-K should clearly be considered for the B1G All-Name Team. Boo Timko has the most rounds scoring in the 60′s (very good!) and 7 rounds under par. Hammer has three rounds in the 60′s with 8 rounds under par. I looked at results for their last four tournaments and Timko and Hammer have separated themselves as the #1 and #2 golfers. Hammer has excelled the past month; his ‘Total/Par’ (aggregate strokes over par) is only 2 strokes. That is simply astounding. Timko’s aggregate of 14 over par for four tournaments isn’t too bad either. As it turns out, Boo Timko has a cousin that played football for the Buckeyes. A lad by the name of John Simon, maybe you’ve heard of him.
The table, below, indicates how the Buckeyes have placed in their 10 tournaments so far this season (Fall 2013 and Spring 2014). With this format, “lower is better”, obviously. To read the table, the Buckeyes finished 7th in their 1st event of the season; in their next event they finished 4th.
Although OSU had a bit of a mid-season slump,vCoach Darr has his team rounding into form with much better performances the past three weeks. Next up for the Buckeyes is an Easter weekend visit to West Lafayette IN for the two-round Boilermaker Invitational. After a week off, the team heads to French Lick IN, May 2-4, for the three round Big Ten Championship.