Wisconsin Set to Host Big Ten Men's Golf Championships
May 5, 2005
The University of Wisconsin is set to play host to the 2005 Big Ten Men's Golf Championships, which will be held Friday through Sunday, May 6-8, at the University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, Wis.
The Championships format will consist of 54 holes, including 18 holes on Friday (May 6), Saturday (May 7) and Sunday (May 8) each. The course will be marked off to 6,888 yards with a par of 72.
Ohio State is the defending Big Ten champion, as the Buckeyes captured the 2004 title by five strokes over Illinois last year at Michigan. A new individual champion will be determined this weekend, after the departure of Ohio State senior and Big Ten Champion Kevin Hall last year.
Entering this weekend's Championships, three Big Ten squads appear in the current Golfweek/Sagarin Top 50 national rankings. Michigan State leads all Conference squads at No. 21, while Minnesota is 24th and Purdue is 31st.
Favorites to capture this year's individual race could be Indiana's Jeff Overton, Minnesota's Bronson La'Cassie, and Michigan State's Matt Harmon and Andrew Ruthkowski. Overton, the defending Big Ten Golfer of the Year and Les Bolstad Award Winner for lowest stroke average, is currently ranked seventh in the nation by Golfweek/Sagarin and enters the Championships with a League-best 70.25 stroke average this season.
La'Cassie, the 2004 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is ranked 29th in the nation, followed by Harmon at No. 52 and Ruthkowski at No. 58.
Ohio State was victorious in the last Big Ten Men's Golf Championship title to be hosted by Wisconsin in 1995. The Buckeyes beat runner-up Purdue by 22 strokes for the win.
In the history of the Big Ten Men's Golf Championships, 10 of the 11 Conference squads have captured the League title. Ohio State leads all teams with 23 wins, followed by Michigan and Purdue with 12 each. Indiana has eight, while Illinois and Northwestern have each earned seven team titles.