Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers enter battle for Big Ten Championship

On paper, this week’s Big Ten Championship is a battle for second place for the IU men’s golf team.

Illinois ranks No. 9 nationally, and no other Big Ten team even stands in the top 50.

However, IU men’s golf coach Mike Mayer sees no reason why his Hoosiers can’t play spoiler to the Illini party.

“Illinois has to be the favorite right now, but they are beatable,” Mayer said. “After Illinois, you have 10 other teams who can all mix it up. To predict this tournament from 1-11 would be akin to winning the lottery.”

The 2010 Big Ten Championships take place today through Sunday at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Maple Plain, Minn., a new venue to the players. The tournament consists of 72 holes instead of the normal 54, making it different from every tournament the Hoosiers have played this year.

“That is the great equalizer because besides Minnesota, no one has really even been on the property at Windsong Farms,” Mayer said.  “We are so used to playing 54 holes, but now you not only have to step up for 54 but 18 more. It eliminates the long shot, but at the same time, it can keep some teams in the game a little bit longer.”

The Hoosiers intend to keep the same lineup they had last week at the Boilermaker Invitational, which included two freshmen and two sophomores.

Senior Alex Martin looks to play the one-spot in his final Big Ten Championship. Martin placed 10th in the tournament.

Sophomore David Erdy, who also fared well at the Big Ten Championships last spring with a 22nd-place finish as a freshman, registers after Martin.

In the three-spot is sophomore Chris Wright. Wright has been arguably the hottest player in the Hoosiers’ lineup this spring. The Muncie native has shot over 74 only once this spring, and he won the adidas Hoosier Invitational earlier this month by seven shots.

Two freshmen, Brant Peaper and Corey Ziedonis, man the four- and five-spots.
Peaper has played in every tournament for the Hoosiers this spring. His best finish came at the adidas Hoosier Invitational when he placed fourth individually.

Fresh off a career-best four-under-par  at the Boilermaker Invitational, Ziedonis rounds out the Hoosiers’ lineup.

After struggling through a difficult part in its schedule during the fall season, IU has turned its fortunes around this spring.

The Hoosiers went 3-1 at the Collegiate Match Play Championship in March and then won the adidas Hoosier Invitational two weeks later.

After a pair of fourth-place finishes in its last two tournaments, IU has all but assured itself a third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

“On paper, we will be the four or the five seed, but that just means what it is — not much,” Mayer said. “My expectation is to go there and let Illinois know that we’re there. We have gotten better and better all spring, and I want to have a great finish to get ready for the NCAA Regional.”

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