COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Villanova golf team is looking to build off back-to-back team trophies this weekend, traveling to Ohio State to take part in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate from April 21-23.
The Wildcats have taken home hardware in their last two competitions for the first time in program history. After capturing the team title at both the Golden Horseshoe Intercollegiate and the Wildcat Spring Invitational, Villanova will look to continue those strong performances in Ohio.
“The guys are excited that the game plan has paid dividends over our last two events,” head coach James Wilkes said. “We obviously know that the work is not done yet, but it’s encouraging for the guys to see all of their hard work paying off in the past few weeks.”
Villanova is one of 16 schools competing at this year’s OSU event, along with Abilene Christian, Bowling Green, Butler, Creighton, Dayton, George Mason, Kansas City, Kent State, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Penn State, South Dakota State and Xavier, with Ohio State serving as the host of the competition.
The Buckeyes will have both an A and B team golfing in the event, and several other participants have brought individuals to the course as well.
Last year’s Robert Kepler saw a team victory by Illinois, who combined for a 30-under across the three rounds to beat the host Buckeyes. Ohio State (17-under), Northwestern (nine-under), Kent State and Penn State (both seven-under) rounded out the top five while an Ohio State golfer took home the individual title for the 23rd time.
The format consists of 54 holes total, but rain on Saturday and frost Sunday have shifted the schedule from the original one-round each-day plan.
Villanova’s lineup will tee off the first round on Friday between 7:30 and 7:52 a.m. from the 10th tee, and the second round is set to begin for VU between 2:00 and 2:22 p.m. on Friday and go up until 8 p.m. or sundown. The current plan is to resume and finish the second set of 18 holes as well as start the final round on Saturday, then complete the event Sunday.
Live stats for the event are available on GolfStat and updates will be provided on the Villanova Golf social media pages.
Full field (2023 Golfweek Team Ranking): Ohio State (30), Kent State (68), Penn State (92), Northern Illinois (126), Miami (OH) (138), Kansas City (146), Dayton (171), Butler (184), Abilene Christian (195), Bowling Green (202), Xavier (208), South Dakota State (212), Creighton (215), George Mason (220), Villanova (228), Ohio (263)
The event will be held at the OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, an 18-hole course that is regarded as one of the top collegiate courses in the world and was voted the Top Collegiate Course by Golf Channel in 2009.
The par-71, 7,455-yard course was renovated in 2006 by former Buckeye Jack Nicklaus, restoring it to fit the original design of world-renowned course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie.
The semi-private club is only utilized by those with an Ohio State affiliation, but served as the host venue for the 1977 US Junior Amateur Championship.
Weaver will be looking to build off a monster performance last week where he captured VU’s first medalist honors this season and the third individual title of his career. The team captain shot a career-best nine-under 133 at the Wildcat Spring to bring his season stroke average down to a program record 71.70 and earn BIG EAST Male Golfer of the Week.
Pamer ended in fourth at the team’s home event to come up with his fourth top five finish of the year. The freshman will be making his 10th tournament appearance of the season with a stroke total of 1,721.
Lohwater has been a member of the lineup for each of the two victories this season, finishing tied for 10th in Virginia and shooting a seven-over at LuLu CC.
Alexander tied for 18th in the field at the Wildcat Spring, ending with a three-over 145 while leading the field in pars. The senior boasts a low round of 67 this season and will be playing in his 15th, 16th and 17th rounds of the year.
Alokam rounds out the VU lineup after competing individually in the last two events. The Michigan native owns a 76.61 stroke average this year with a top finish of T-25th.
Only one competition remains for the 2022-23 season as the Wildcats will take part in the BIG EAST Championship at Riverton Pointe from April 28-30.