Ohio State golfers confident entering NCAAs
Ohio State will be playing in the NCAA men’s golf championship for the first time in nine years starting Friday.
Hold off on any crazy celebration, though.
It’s not that Buckeyes coach Jay Moseley isn’t excited or proud of his team for the accomplishment. He is.
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He just wants reaching this point to be the standard, not a cause for excessive jubilation.
“It’s what we all come to Ohio State for,” said Moseley, who’s in his fourth year. “We all want to play for national championships. To be a part of that is encouraging. (But) I would not call it a milestone. It’s what we expect and where we want to be.”
Ohio State finished second in the NCAA regional in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, last week to qualify for the 30-team NCAA championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Buckeyes tee off at 8:40 a.m. at Blessings Golf Club. If they are one of the top eight teams in medal play, match play begins with the quarterfinals Tuesday. The finals are Wednesday.
The Buckeyes are not ranked in the top 25, but they are confident they can compete with the best in the country.
“It’s going to come down to all of us having to be clicking,” senior Will Grimmer said. “We’re all playing very good golf as of late, so I definitely feel good about us going into it.”
Grimmer is one of four seniors in the five-man lineup along with Caleb Ramirez, Will Voetsch and Daniel Wetterich. Voetsch played for two years at Rice before transferring. Wetterich transferred after his freshman year from Xavier. All four have earned OSU scholar-athlete honors.
Sophomore Laken Hinton, a midseason transfer from Augusta College, has given the team a boost with his play and competitiveness.
Moseley said that having four seniors in a lineup is atypical.
“I’ve certainly never had a team with four seniors in the top five,” he said. “Usually, you don’t have four players in a single class.
“Those guys have been rock solid for us the last two years. They’ve been getting better and better and better. They’ve put in a lot of time, effort and energy.”
Moseley said that it all started to come together this spring.
“They were a lot more focused,” he said. “Their work ethic has certainly improved. The leadership is there. As a coach, you’ve got a team that checks a lot of boxes and makes it a great group to have around.”
A year ago, the Buckeyes failed to make the postseason. That stung, especially since Ohio State’s Scarlet Course was the site of a regional.
“Not even making it to the postseason last year, especially when we even hosted, there was a little bit of determination coming back this fall,” Grimmer said. “It added fuel to the fire. We have a lot of talent and a lot of belief in ourselves. From December on, it’s been awesome to see what we’ve been able to achieve. Everyone has contributed to making this a special season.”