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Women’s golf team confident heading into NCAA Central Regional Tournament

Confidence.

It’s an important quality to succeed in any sport, and it might help explain why Ohio State women’s golf coach Therese Hession will lead her team to its 17th straight NCAA Regional Tournament, which starts today and will last through Saturday.

“I’m not going to say that we’re going to win, but our job is to get to the national championship. And that’s what we’re going to do. Period.”

Those were Hession’s words before she and her team left Columbus for Notre Dame on Tuesday afternoon. The team will compete in the NCAA Central Regional Tournament at Notre Dame, with hopes of advancing to the NCAA Championship Tournament.

The top eight teams from this weekend’s 24-team field will advance to the NCAA Championship, hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, from May 18–21.

OSU is the 10th-seeded team in the field, and enters the tournament with two big advantages.

One of them is the rainy conditions the Midwest has seen lately. The course at Notre Dame is expected to be soggy, and there may be showers on Thursday and Saturday, according to the Weather Channel. Certain teams such as top-seeded UCLA and sixth-seeded Texas may not be as comfortable with the conditions as OSU and other teams that have gotten used to breaking out the umbrellas during their past few tournaments.

“We definitely have a certain advantage there,” said junior Vicky Villanueva, recently named to the second-team All-Big Ten.

Hession agreed.

“Several top-ranked teams, they haven’t played, probably, in the conditions that they’re going to see,” she said. “I’m hoping that the conditions will be similar to what we’ve been trudging through here. Hopefully for a Midwest team that’s an advantage.”

OSU’s other advantage is that it played the course in October during the Notre Dame Invitational.

Hession knew a return in the spring was possible, so she ensured her team paid extra attention to the course.

“When we played at Notre Dame in the fall, I made them make out a practice sheet — if they would play this golf course again, what would they do?” Hession said. “So each one of them made up their own personal game plan when it was fresh in their mind of what that course demanded.”

Sophomore Rachel Rohanna said this preparation would be helpful this weekend.

“You can’t just expect to go out there and shoot low scores,” said Rohanna, also named second-team All-Big Ten last week. “It kind of might be a deceiving course, because it’s not terribly long and it doesn’t seem like something that would give you too many troubles.”

Still, senior co-captain In Hong Lim feels prepared.

“We know what to expect,” Lim said. “We’ve been to that course.”

Lim, who was awarded OSU’s sportsmanship award last week, said her goal for the weekend was simple.

“Get the team going to the nationals,” the lone senior said.

The confidence is contagious.

“I know the abilities of each one of us,” Villanueva said. “It’s going to be a good opportunity for us to finally put it together and do what we know we can do.”

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