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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Team ready for Big Ten Tourney

The last time the men's golf team traveled to compete in Illinois at the end of September, they came back to Bloomington with a third-place finish. The closest the Hoosiers have come to equaling that standing was an eighth-place finish in the very first match of the spring season. Since then, IU hasn't finished in the top ten in any tournament.\nNow the team has one last shot at Big Ten redemption as it heads back to Illinois for the Big Ten Championship May 4-6. Last season IU finished ninth in the tournament, with senior Steve Wheatcroft the highest IU finisher tied for 12th. Wheatcroft is the only member of this year's team to know what it's like to win a conference championship.\nWheatcroft was a freshman when the 1998 men's golf team captured the Big Ten title. Wheatcroft said he has been trying to tell his teammates what it's like to take home a conference championship.\n"I have some really good memories from freshman year," Wheatcroft said. "It's a feeling stored away of what it's like to win. I try to tell (my teammates) that they never know how good it is until they get their own (championship)."\nSophomore Aldo Jordan said he is envious of that feeling Wheatcroft described.\n"Every team looks at you differently when you're a champion," Jordan said. "We just hope to make all of the team's eyes gaze on us when it's over."\nTo get that gaze from opposing teams, Jordan said they have to perform like they did in the fall and forget about the spring season.\n"It's important to start out on the right foot," Jordan said. "We need to have confidence in what we do."\nJordan finished 20th in last year's tournament as a freshman, but with his recent bout with illness and poor finishes in recent tournaments, he feels he has to perform well this weekend.\n"I think the pressure comes from myself, especially under the circumstances," Jordan said. "This is the most important tournament of the year, and that's pressure all in itself."\nCoach Mike Mayer said Jordan and others on the team need to step up, because Wheatcroft cannot carry the load all by himself.\n"One other person (besides Wheatcroft and Jordan) need to step up if we're going to do well in this tournament," Mayer said.\nMayer did express some concern toward the fact that his team has been participating in finals, leaving little time to prepare for the tournament.\n"I have two kids who have to take finals before we leave Friday," Mayer said. "We need to be mentally, physically and fundamentally prepared."\nWhile the Hoosiers appear to be an underdog after its poor showing in the spring season, Mayer said there was one other time IU wasn't the favorite, but shocked a lot of people.\n"When we won it all in 1998; we weren't expected to at all," Mayer said. "We have to do what we did in the fall and come out to a good start to give ourselves a chance"

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