ATHENS, Ohio—The Ohio women's golf team begins the 2019 spring season this weekend when they head to Lakewood Ranch, Fla. on Saturday, Feb. 2, where the Bobcats will be competing in the 2019 Spring Challenge Cup, hosted by Ohio and Bowling Green. Next, they will compete in the two-day Mid-American Match Play Challenge, hosted by Bowling Green, on Monday, Feb. 4 and Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Up first, the 2019 Spring Challenge Cup will be played in two rounds at the Legacy Golf Club. The morning rounds will be split in two, the first nine holes being played in foursome matches starting at 8:27 a.m. and the remainder of the course is finished with four-ball matches starting at 10:27 a.m. In the afternoon, single matches will begin at 1:16 p.m.
FULL SPRING CHALLENGE CUP BREAKDOWN
Foursome Matches – Two Person Alternate Shot (9 Holes)
A foursomes match is a competition between two teams of two golfers. The golfers on the same team take alternate shots throughout the match, with the same ball. Each hole is won by the team that completes the hole in the fewest shots. This is a true alternate shot. Each team will determine who will tee off on odd/even holes.
Four-Ball Matches – Two Person Best Ball (9 Holes)
A four ball match is also a competition between two teams of two golfers, but all four golfers play their own ball throughout the round rather than alternating shots, and each hole is won by the team whose individual golfer has the lowest score.
Afternoon Round: Singles Matches – Individual Match (18 Holes)
A singles match is a standard match play competition between two golfers. Each Player plays her own ball until the ball is holed out.
Tie: If a tie occurs, each team will select one player for one sudden death playoff hole. If there is still a tie then a different team member will be selected until the tie is broken.
Competing for the Bobcats at this event are seniors Emily Hughes (Columbus, Ohio) and Nicole Smiley (Dublin, Ohio), junior Marissa Balish (Allison Park, Pa.), sophomore Ashley Flynn (Dublin, Ohio), and freshmen Catherine Loftus (Roswell, Ga.) and Alicia Porvasnik (Hinckley, Ohio).
The Bobcats won the 2017 Spring Challenge Cup, defeating Bowling Green, 7.5-4.5.
The Mid-American Match Play Challenge follows at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, clocking in at 6,068 yards with par set at 72. Ohio is set to play Central Michigan at 7:50 a.m. If they are victorious, they will continue on in the single-elimination bracket to compete against Florida Gulf Coast at 12 p.m. A loss will result in a 1:31 p.m. match that puts them in the running for fifth and sixth place. Both brackets will continue competition on Tuesday morning.
Competing in this year's tournament is Bowling Green, Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, Illinois State, Morehead State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Purdue Fort Wayne, Western Illinois and Western Michigan.
Last year at the Mid-American Match Play Challenge, the Bobcats placed sixth overall. They opened the first day defeating UNC Ashville 2-1-2, but fell in the afternoon to Akron, 3-1-1.
Through the fall portion of the season, Hughes led Ohio, maintaining a 75.57 stroke average and finishing as Ohio's top-finisher twice, with her stroke average putting her at the top of the MAC. Smiley has also been solid for the Bobcats, registering as Ohio's top finisher in three tournaments this season with a 77.64 stroke average, securing third overall in the MAC.
Score updates will be available for both events on GolfStat.com and links will be posted on OhioBobcats.com as they become available.
Up next, Ohio travels to Rio Verde, Ariz. from Friday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, Feb. 24 for the Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational. The three-day event is hosted by Western Michigan at the Rio Verde Country Club.