Indiana Daily Student

IU golfers tee off 2012 season at Concession Golf Club in Fla.

Then-junior David Erdy watches his shot from the ninth tee during the adidas Hoosier Invitational on April 9, 2011, at the IU Golf Course. The men's golf team has their first competition this weekend in Bradenton, Fla.
Then-junior David Erdy watches his shot from the ninth tee during the adidas Hoosier Invitational on April 9, 2011, at the IU Golf Course. The men's golf team has their first competition this weekend in Bradenton, Fla.

As Tiger Woods and Tony Romo pair as the dream team for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the IU men’s golf team will await its first opponent at the Big Ten Match Play Championship on Feb. 10 and 11.

The Hoosiers will enter the tournament as the third seed due to their strong finish in the fall, and they will play the winner of sixth-seed Ohio State and 11th-seed Wisconsin. IU Coach Mike Mayer said the seeding is no indication of who will win in the end.

At the 2011 Big Ten Match Play Championship, the squad defeated Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio State en route to the semi-finals, where they fell to Northwestern. For the 2012 championship, Illinois is the first seed, and Iowa is second, while Purdue follows IU in the fourth seed.

“I really look for Ohio State to come through in that match,” Mayer said. “We will have to be ready to go right away out of the box if we face Ohio State.”

The six IU players competing in their first event of the season will attempt to outplay the field at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. Concession Golf Club spans 7,470 yards and was labeled as Golf Digest’s 65th Toughest Golf Course in 2012.

“It’s really demanding from tee to green,” Mayer said. “We finished second last year, won in the inaugural event (2009), and hopefully we can win it this year.”

The top six players from the fall will compete in the event, including senior co-captains Chase Wright and David Erdy, juniors Brant Peaper and Corey Ziedonis, sophomore David Mills and freshman Andrew Fogg.

Mayer said he sees Wright as the leading man who will need to continue his strong play into the spring. While Erdy struggled in the fall because of an appendectomy, he is back and ready to play as a contender, Mayer said. Wright sits in third for the IU career-scoring list at 73.20, and Erdy is in sixth at 73.57. Together, the senior duo has tallied 27 top-10 finishes during their IU careers.

“I want to be as good as I can be in the spring,” Wright said. “I need to not let anything bother me and contend in tournaments.”

Mills finished his sophomore fall season with a 72.87 average, but Mayer said he is a slow starter in the spring who needs to be pushed right away. The most important part of Mills’ game in the fall was putting, but he also needs to work on his iron play, he said.

Mills and Ziedonis led the Hoosiers to victory at the event in 2009 when they each posted 4-0 in match play. Mayer said Ziedonis continues to show improvement and is hard to keep out of the lineup.

As for the rest of the lineup, each of the players will contribute to the team’s success in the bracket at Concession Golf Club, where they will play again March 18-20 at the Collegiate Match Play Championship.  

“This week will be about developing our confidence and getting out there again,” Wright said. “The confidence will come, we just have to get things going.”

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