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Ohio Men's Golf Looks To Continue Strong Start At 2018 Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational

Ohio Men's Golf Looks To Continue Strong Start At 2018 Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational

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ATHENS, Ohio -- 
The Ohio men's golf team looks to continue its strong start to the 2018-19 season when it competes in the 2018 Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational this week (Oct. 8-9) at Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, W. Va.

The 54-hole, two-day event is hosted by West Virginia at Pete Dye Golf Club. The course plays to a par of 72 at 7,308 yards. The first 36 holes of the tournament will be played on Monday (Oct. 8), with action getting underway at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The final round will be held on Tuesday (Oct. 9) with tee times starting at 8 a.mm. Live scoring will be available via Golfstat.

Ohio will be competing against host West Virginia, Akron, Boston College, Bowling Green, Davidson, Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown, James Madison, Marshall, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John's and Winthrop. 

Last October, the Bobcats took 14th place at the Health Plan Mountaineer Invitational with a total team score of 907 (+43) after round scores of 308 (+20), 301 (+13) and 298 (+10). Bowling Green won the event with an 864 (E). The Falcons posted round scores of 290 (+2), 287 (-1) and 287 (-1).

Last week, the Bobcats finished in a tie for third place with Eastern Michigan at the Firestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club North Course in Akron, Ohio. Ohio recorded a combined team score of 859 (-5). The Bobcats opened the 54-hole tournament by tallying rounds of 281 (-7) and 283 (-5) on Monday (Oct. 1), then totaled a final-round 295 (+7) on Tuesday (Oct. 2). Ohio earned its first top-three finish under first-year head coach Carter Cheves. The Bobcats' combined team score marked the fourth-best three-round total in the history of the program. 

Sophomore Zach Crawford (Vandalia, Ohio) earned his first collegiate victory last Tuesday (Oct. 2), winning the Firestone Invitational by three strokes with a total score of 206 (-10). Crawford was tied for second place heading into the third and final round after shooting matching rounds of 69 (-3) in the first two rounds on Monday (Oct. 1). He saved his best for last, though, tallying a 68 (-4) in the third round to win the event. Crawford finished the tournament shooting -2 on the par 3s, -3 on the par 4s and -5 on the par 5s. He led the tournament with 16 birdies. After posting six birdies in the second round, he totaled five in the third. His total score marked the best of his young career and tied him with Peyton White (2015 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational) for the second-best three-round total in program history. He became the first Bobcat to win a tournament since White won the Rutherford Intercollegiate in 2017.

Crawford was recognized with Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Week honors for the first time in his career on Thursday (Oct. 4) for his performance at the Firestone Invitational.

Crawford wasn't the only Bobcat to enjoy a solid outing at the Firestone Invitational.

Sophomore Zach Mandry (Solon, Ohio) finished in a five-way tie for 17th with a career-best 216 (E). After shooting a career-low 71 (-5) in the first round, he set a new career best with a second-round 69 (-3). Mandry posted a final-round 76 (+4).

Sophomore Tanner Johnson (Venetia, Pa.) tied for 34th with four other players with a career-best 219 (+3). He shot a 71 (-1) in the first round and finished with two rounds of 74 (+2) in the second and third.

Ohio recorded its best round score of the weekend with a final-round 287 (+7), giving the Bobcats a combined team score of 873 (+33) and a 10th-place finish at the EKU Intercollegiate sponsored by Raising Cane's, which was held Sept. 15-16 at the University Club at Arlington in Richmond, Ky. The Bobcats shot identical scores of 293 (+13) in the first two rounds.

Crawford vaulted from a tie for 27th all the way up to seventh place thanks to a career-best 66 (-4) in the final round giving him a score of 210 (E). He achieved a top-10 finish for the second time in his career. His final-round 66 tied for the third-best round score in program history. Crawford posted matching rounds of 72 (+2) in the first two rounds.

Sophomore Austin Dyson (Dublin, Ohio) tied for 60th with a career-best 224 (+14). He shot a 74 (+4) in the final round after rounds of 75 (+5) and 72 (+2) in the first two rounds. His second-round score marked a career best.

Ohio opened the 2018-19 season by finishing in a tie for 11th place with Youngstown State at the 2018 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational, which took place Sept 10-11 at the Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington, W. Va. The Bobcats finished with a combined team score of 571 (+3). Ohio followed up a first-round 282 (-2) with a final-round 289 (+5). The tournament was shortened from 54 holes to 36 holes due to run impacting course conditions on Monday.

Senior Ben Sattler (Liberty Township, Ohio) was the top finisher for Ohio, tying for 14th with a 140 (-2), which marked the best 36-hole tournament score of his collegiate career. He delivered an ace on the par 3 sixth hole en route to a 68 (-3) in the first round on Monday, matching the best round score of his collegiate career. Sattler followed it up with a final-round 72 (+1).

Johnson finished in a tie for 30th after tallying a 142 (E). He fired rounds of 70 (-1) and 72 (+1), with his first-round score marking the best of his collegiate career to date.

The 2018 Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational marked Ohio's first competition under the direction of Cheves.

Cheves was named the third head coach in the history of Ohio men's golf program, as announced by Director of Athletics Jim Schaus on July 9.

Cheves comes to Athens after spending five years as the assistant coach at James Madison, where he helped 13 Dukes earn All-Colonial Athletic Association honors. Following the 2017-18 season, freshman Ignacio Montero was named CAA Men's Golf Rookie of the Year while senior Matt Cowgill was tabbed an All-CAA Second Team selection. Off the course, James Madison boasted a GPA over 3.0 as a team. In total during his stint at James Madison, Cheves coached one CAA Player of the Year, two CAA Rookie of the Year winners, five Scholar All-Americans, two individual NCAA Championship Regional qualifiers, one NCAA Championship qualifier and one PING All-American selection.

James Madison posted eight team wins over the course of Cheves' tenure. The Dukes posted 52 rounds at par or better after recording 46 such rounds combined over previous 15 years prior to his arrival. Every major scoring record in the program's history was broken over the last five years, including low single round, low 36-hole total, low 54-hole total, par 3 scoring, par 4 scoring, par 5 scoring, most birdies in a season and season finish percentage. 

Cheves brings previous head coaching experience to the Bobcats, as he served as the head coach at Western Carolina for three of his four-and-a-half years with the Catamounts. Under his watch, J.T. Poston became the third Western Carolina golfer to qualify as an individual for NCAA Championship Regional play. Poston, who is the first golfer Cheves signed, is currently on the PGA Tour, and several of Cheves' former players have competed on PGA Tour Latinoamérica, PGA Tour Canada, GPro Tour and SwingThought Tour. Off the course, Cheves started the program's first-ever alumni reunion, advanced the team's ranking over 70 spots in three years as head coach and had his teams maintain better than a 3.0 cumulative GPA in his tenure.

Cheves graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in operations management. Prior to attending UNCW, he played two years of college golf at North Carolina State under veteran Wolfpack head coach Richard Sykes. Following his graduation from UNCW, Cheves served as the United States Golf Association P.J. Boatwright summer intern for the Carolinas Golf Association.

The Ohio men's golf program has won 18 Mid-American Conference championships in its storied history (1951, '52, '53, '54 (tie), '55, '57, '58, '59, '60, '61, '63, '64, '65, '67, '69, '71, '79, '80). Cheves succeeds Bob Cooley, who retired at the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign after 30 seasons at the helm of his alma mater. Cheves, Cooley and Kermit Blosser (1947-88) are the only men to serve as head coach of the Bobcats in the program's history.

The Bobcats return eight members of its 2017-18 team. Back for Ohio are Sattler, Crawford, Dyson, Johnson, Mandry, redshirt junior Michael Kenney (Kent, Ohio), redshirt sophomores Adam Stephens (Dublin, Ohio) and Brett Wheeler (Dublin, Ohio).

Crawford is Ohio's top returner after competing in nine events in his rookie campaign and averaging a 76.35 over 26 rounds. He enjoyed his best finish at The Firestone Invitational (Oct. 2-3), tying for fourth with a 215 (-1) and shooting a season-low 67 (-5) in the first round.

Sattler gives the young Bobcats a steady veteran presence and has earned Academic All-MAC honors each of the last two years.

Ohio's roster features one new member -- freshman Quinn O'Leary (Beverly Hills, Mich.). O'Leary Competed at Brother Rice High School, earning four varsity letters. He served as team captain of the Warriors in each of his final three seasons (2016, '17, '18) and earned all-state honorable mention following his 2016 sophomore campaign. An All-Catholic League selection all four years of high school, he helped guide Brother Rice to a Catholic League title to cap off his 2018 senior season. O'Leary is the cousin of former Ohio women's golfer Lily Pendy.

The Bobcats are set to compete in a total of 11 tournaments this season -- five in the fall and six in the spring. The 2019 MAC Championships (April 26-28) will be held at Club Walden in Aurora, Ohio. Click here to view the full schedule.

Ohio wraps up the fall portion of its 2018-19 schedule next week (Oct. 15-16) at the Phoenix Intercollegiate, which will be held at Alamance Country Club in Burlington, N.C.