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Pac-10 beats Hoosiers, Big Ten

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Oct. 26, 2006 

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Entering the third Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge in Brandon, Ore., the Hoosiers were looking to beat some of the nation's top-ranked golf teams. After Tuesday's 18th hole, IU finished in 10th, and the Pac-10 claimed its first-ever victory at the event.

In the short history of the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge, IU has yet to finish higher than 10th. Despite having sophomores Seth Brandon and Drew Allenspach finish in the top 25 and sophomore Jorge Campillo tying for fifth, IU was unable to overcome the Pac-10's dominant play.

"It's really disappointing," Brandon said. "We had an opportunity to really step up and beat some of the best teams in the country."

Although IU men's golf coach Mike Mayer said he wasn't happy with his team's overall finish, he said he was pleased with the play of Brandon, Campillo and Allenspach. In fact, he said Allenspach's two-under-par performance in the second round was one of the single greatest rounds he has seen as a coach at IU. He also said freshman Alex Martin's finish in a tie for 55th and junior Santiago Quirarte's 59th-place finish weren't good enough to keep them up with the stronger teams in the field.

The team left Oregon to fly directly to its last event of the fall in North Carolina, and Mayer said if the team was returning to Bloomington before its event this weekend, he would hesitate to take the same players to the next tournament.

"No, I would not (take the same players)," he said. "We'd make some changes in the four and five spots."

Mayer said the team's continued lack of production from these spots in the lineup prevents the Hoosiers from achieving the success the team achieved last spring. Campillo said if the team had played at that level in this tournament, the outcome would have been different.

"If we played like last year, we could win (the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge)," he said.

The Big Ten, as a whole, was overwhelmed by the Pac-10's depth, losing by 29 strokes. UCLA, ranked by Golfstat as the No. 1 team in the nation, won the event with a score of 885 -- five strokes better than its 13th-ranked in-state rival, the University of Southern California. These rankings scored Minnesota, at 28th, the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, but it was the 38th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers whose third-place finish marked the Big Ten's highest finish.

Mayer said the two-day tournament gave a sample of Pacific Northwest weather, and he said it probably affected each team equally. One big problem for the Hoosiers was their inability to overcome mistakes, either caused by weather or otherwise.

UCLA's second-round score of 310 was the tournament's fifth highest for the 18 holes, but it bounced back in the final round, finishing one stroke behind USC for the best total of the day with a 291 and 885 for the event.

En route to its 918 total, IU finished the first round at 312. The Hoosiers only flirted with breaking 300 in the next two rounds, shooting 304 and 302.

Brandon said he personally wasted a few shots out of frustration, and teams like UCLA don't allow you to do that.

"Every single shot matters," he said. "There's a reason they're the best team in the country. They don't make many mistakes."

 

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