The Ohio State men's golf team captured its first Big Ten championships crown since 1997 and its 23rd overall title Sunday at the 2004 Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes held off second-place Illinois by five strokes as Ohio State fired a final-round score of 284 for a three-round total of 842. The event was hosted by the University of Michigan and was held at the par 71, 6,704-yard University of Michigan Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Mich.
'They just played terrific,' Ohio State head coach Jim Brown said. 'They were not going to be denied. Illinois made a charge but we made some birdies down the stretch to hold them off and win by five.'
The Buckeyes' Big Ten title was the 17th under Brown, who was named 2004 Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third time in his career, following the event.
Senior Kevin Hall captured medallist honors for the second time in his last four tournaments and was the first Ohio State golfer since Ryan Armour in 1998 to finish first at the Big Ten championships. Hall's first-place finish in the event is Ohio State's 18th individual medallist in program history.
'Kevin played great,' Brown said. 'He played his game. He drove the ball in the fairway, played a solid iron game and got the ball close on the greens. It was then just a matter of making some putts, which he did.'
During the final round, Hall fired his third consecutive round under 70 with a score of 68. Throughout the tournament, Hall rolled in 16 birdies, one eagle, two bogeys and one double bogey to top the field by 11 strokes. Hall finished the tournament with a three-round total of 199 en route to numerous Big Ten accolades, which included 2004 First Team All-Big Ten and 2004 Big Ten All-Championship Team.
Senior Brett Williams also turned in a solid tournament for the Buckeyes as he finished with a final round score of 72, for a three-round total of 213 to tie for seventh in his first Big Ten championships appearance.
'As a team, we competed well,' Brown said. 'We don't fear anyone but we respect our opponents. We did not back down. This team can play better than people think. This weekend we showed how we are capable of playing.'
The Ohio State men's golf team returns to action May 20-22 at the 2004 NCAA Regional Championships. The top eight teams from each regional advance to 2004 NCAA Championships in Hot Springs, Va.