After a 3 1/2 month break, the Ohio State men’s golf team is set get the 2015 season in full swing under the Florida sun.
The Buckeyes are scheduled to tee up for the Big Ten Match Play Championships on Sunday and Monday for their first tournament of 2015. OSU won its most recent outing at the Intercollegiate at The Grove in October.
Sophomore Clark Engle, who was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week after that victory, said he feels confident approaching the upcoming tournament.
“The Big Ten Match Play tournament is a good tournament to start back up with, to kind of get a feel for things, so it’ll be fun,” Engle said. “I think the whole team will be pretty confident going into it.”
In January, the team received a new $6 million practice facility located at the OSU Golf Club. Coach Donnie Darr said the new facility has been great for the program.
“The biggest thing is it just allows us to be sharper earlier in the year, allowing the players to gain more confidence,” Darr said. “I think when we’re ready and capable of playing well earlier in the year, it helps us to gain momentum as we head later into spring season and the conference championships.”
Darr said he feels the facility has helped to bring his team closer.
“I think the biggest thing I like about the facility is there is enough space so that everyone can work on their game at the same time,” Darr said. “The facility helps with the overall camaraderie and togetherness that you need for a team sport.”
Engle said he and his fellow teammates have developed a firm bond that resembles brotherhood.
“We’re all really close in a group. We didn’t have anyone graduate last year so we’ve all spent two years together,” Engle said. “We’re like best friends off the course, which is awesome, because then on the course it’s like you’re playing with your brothers, which explains our team camaraderie.”
Senior Boo Timko, a Girard, Ohio, native, said he feels privileged to represent and play for his home-state school.
“Not only in athletics, but in every part of the university, they always strive for excellence,” Timko said. “Every varsity team here, they do everything they can to make sure that they’re the best or one of the best in the country. I think it’s just really cool to be a part of a community that really just strives to do anything they can to be the best and to create the culture of excellence.”
Darr said the golf program has great things in store for the future.
“I’m really excited about the direction we’re headed in,” Darr said.
The Buckeyes are set to travel to Palm Coast, Fla., for the two-day tournament.