It has been a long golf season that began all the way back in September, but if there is one thing that has stayed constant throughout, it is the three words: “What’s my target?”
IU Coach Clint Wallman has been preaching this to his team all season and as they prepare for the NCAA Tournament this weekend, this “special” team, as Wallman put it, will keep those words engrained in their heads.
“It all goes back to that,” Wallman said.
He said they have been working around their schedules and have had some non-structured practices to keep the team on top of their games during finals week.
The Hoosiers are coming off of the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago where they tied for seventh place with a 2-over overall score and had four golfers finish in the top 25 for the first time since 2008.
Wallman has taken teams in the past to the tournament, with this being his fifth trip, but he said there is something special about this team.
“This team is very, very special and I think they are very good,” Wallman said. “I think they are underrated and I think some of that has been done on their own where they haven’t thought they’re as good as they could be and that obviously has changed because they started believing and they started playing really well.”
As for the mindset going in, things are staying consistent.
IU comes into the regional as a No. 14 seed out of 18 total teams and will have to place in the top six to move on to the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon, in two weeks. The three-round tournament gets underway Thursday and concludes Saturday at the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.
Wallman said he has been on the course before and says the Jack Nicklaus course basically speaks for itself.
“It’s nothing really that we have to do that much different than we’ve done before,” Wallman said. “We’ll go down there, chart the course, do our work, have a very structured practice round because that’s where we do our work.”
As for the team, their pre-work has already been done, but the main game planning will take place during their practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday when they arrive in Texas.
“They’ve worked on their swing and their putting and their chipping and the technical parts of their game, but when we get down there, that’s when we really tackle the course and come up with our strategy and a plan for everyone,” Wallman said.
Now, all that is left to be done is the trip, because the table is set for the Hoosiers to make some noise this weekend.
“They understand what it takes on the mental side which sets the table to go eat dinner,” Wallman said.
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