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Sophomores, freshman play as Indiana's Hoosiers


By Kevin Bowen



When IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean took the job on April 2, 2008, his message was loud and clear to Indiana fans – this is the state university, and the people of Indiana need to know this.

These same sentiments are being echoed on 17th Street with IU men’s golf coach Mike Mayer.

“We are always looking to get the best players from Indiana, if we feel that player can contribute and help the program,” Mayer said.

Sophomores David Erdy and Chase Wright, two Indiana natives, have been staples in the IU lineup for the past two seasons.

Erdy, a Boonville native, has played in every tournament of his young career.

The highlight of Erdy’s freshman season came at the Collegiate Match Play Qualifier when a two-round total of 137 earned him medalist honors in one of college golf’s premiere tournaments.

Erdy’s hot play continued during the summer when he played in the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.  Erdy did not make the cut at the U.S. Open but did finish ahead of past U.S. Open Champions Ernie Els and Michael Campbell.

“He’s capable of firing that incredible round at any given time,” Mayer said. “He’s got the ability and talent to go low and that is a great asset to have,” Mayer said.

A two-time IHSAA Golf State Finals runner-up, Wright has been a mainstay in the Hoosiers lineup since last spring.

Wright was a four-time All State selection at Delta High School in Muncie.

Last year’s scoring average of 73.96 by Wright is the second lowest ever for a freshman at IU.

“Chase is a very steady performer, and you know that he is always going to be there,” Mayer said. “He is a great ball striker and if we can get his putting in line with the rest of his game I think we can bring his scores down.”

The two roommates took different paths in their high school careers in deciding on IU for college.

Playing close to home throughout much of his junior golf career, Erdy was a late bloomer, Mayer said.

“I had a few schools I was looking at, but IU just made so much sense to me,” Erdy said. “It was the perfect location, a great practice facility and I felt like I had a good opportunity to play my freshman season.”

An accomplished junior golfer, Wright was a 2005 Rolex Junior All-American honorable mention.

“When I came here the summer going into my senior year, it just seemed like the right fit,” Wright said. “I’m from the state of Indiana, so it’s kind of special to play for the state university.”

According to Golfstat, Erdy and Wright had the 16th-highest Freshman Class Impact Ranking in the nation.

The pipeline in the state of Indiana has continued this fall with freshman Corey Ziedonis, an Indianapolis native.

As a junior in high school, Ziedonis defeated Wright in the 2008 IHSAA Golf State Finals in a one-hole playoff to claim the individual state title.

In the class of 2010, IU has secured a verbal commitment from David Mills, a native of Evansville.

Mills attends Evansville North High School, the same high school that produced 2005 IU graduate and PGA Tour player Jeff Overton.

The success of Overton on the PGA Tour has helped IU immensely in keeping players in-state.

“Jeff Overton helped this program in many ways,” Mayer said. “Not that Jeff was a sleeper like David Erdy was, but I don’t think many people expected him to blossom into a two-time All American and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year.”

With the possibility of four Indiana natives playing in the team’s top five next fall, none of which will be seniors, the future is looking bright for the Hoosiers.

“I’m really excited that Chase and I can kind of take the reigns and lead the program to something,” Erdy said.

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