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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student


"Fab Four" making early impact

Known as the "Fab Four," freshmen Jeff Overton, Heath Peters, Rob Ockenfuss and Oren Hodak have come to Bloomington to help improve the fortune of IU's golf team.\n"I\'m happy with all of my recruiting classes, but this one is the strongest," coach Mike Mayer said of his third group of freshmen.\nThe class has been able to post low scores in practice, and Overton, Peters and Ockenfuss are slated to play in next week's tournament at Michigan.\n"They have work ethic … the upperclassmen have to fight for spots," Mayer said. "They say 'wow, the freshmen are practicing, I better get my butt out there and start practicing.'"\nOverton is leading the way for the freshmen. He was recruited by more than 50 programs. He received scholarship offers from several major programs, including Illinois, Colorado State, Kansas State, Ball State, Kent State, South Florida and Miami (Ohio).\nOverton's performance in several prestigious junior tournaments brought him attention from scouts. Most notable were the U.S. Junior Amateur and the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. Overton finished 20th in both.\n"Jeff has tremendous talent as an athlete," Mayer said. "He could become one of the best golfers, if not the best, in Indiana University history."\nPeters, a native of Garrett, Ind., was named the Indiana Golf Association's Junior Masters Player of the Year in 2000. Peters' emergence onto the scene as a highly-recruited player came as a surprise to many coaches, since he's appeared in few national tournaments. But what Mayer did see, he liked.\n"He has a lot of raw skills," Mayer said. "When he gets some more instruction to go with his raw talent, he has the ability to go a long, long way."\nOckenfuss comes to the team as what Mayer calls a "recruited walk-on," someone that was offered a spot on the team, but not a scholarship due to the low number awarded to men's golf. Ockenfuss, who stands at a lanky 6'7", finished fifth in the state tournament in his native Pennsylvania his senior year of high school.\nMayer said he is impressed by Ockenfuss' ability to hit the ball, but also by the focus he brings to the course each day.\n"Out of all the freshmen, Rob has the most focus. He's a very intense young man," Mayer said.\nOckenfuss said the key for good play is focusing on the right things. "There's a line between being focused and too focused," he said. "Don't focus hard on (swing) mechanics, but focus hard on playing."\nHodak was offered scholarships by smaller schools, but wanted to come to IU to remain closer to friends, and because it offered a better program. But first, Hodak had to sell himself to Mayer.\n"He was very persistent," Mayer said. "He brings a lot of passion and intensity to the program."\nNow that Hodak is on the team, the coaching staff has worked with him to match his swing with his intensity. \n"(I got off to a) slow start, but I'm starting to put it all together," Hodak said.\nThe freshmen have not only made a strong impression on their coach, but on their fellow teammates. \n"They're really mature, they've worked hard and earned their spot right away," said senior Rich Thomas. "(They're) not making the same mistakes that freshmen have made in the past"

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