Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Wednesday, Nov. 29
The Indiana Daily Student


IU prepares for Big Ten Match Play Championship

It is often said in competitive golf that the goal is not to beat the opponent but to beat the course.

For all but one tournament on the IU men’s golf program’s 2012-13 schedule, the focus is placed squarely on shooting the lowest possible score the golf course allows. For this weekend’s Big Ten Match Play Championship, however, an entirely different rule applies.

“This is more of a head-to-head competition. It’s a totally different animal than regular stroke play,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “Once you get into it, it’s a little more cutthroat in the head-to-head format.”

In the Match Play Championship, which tees off Friday morning, conference teams will square off in individual matchups in a bracket-style tournament.

Each team will consist of five players, each of whom will face off against a single player from the opposing team in the bracket. When a player wins his individual matchup, he wins a point for his team, who will advance with the attainment of three points.

For the Hoosiers, who struggled with consistency and confidence during the fall campaign, the tournament provides an opportunity to start the spring season on the right foot.

“If we’re able to have a successful tournament, we’ll take that into the spring, and we’ll be able to know we’ve beaten all these teams before when we reach the Big Ten stroke play tournament,” Mayer said.

As many Big Ten schools are located in areas that are not conducive to golf in the winter months, the Match Play allows the conference to gain competitive experience before the larger tournaments begin.

“Part of the reason for the tournament is to get Big Ten teams some competition without facing Southern schools who are in better shape weather-wise,” Mayer said.

The tournament takes place at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., a course Mayer said will provide a challenge for his team.

“It’s an extremely difficult golf course,” Mayer said. “If you don’t have a bye and play in the morning round, I think you have a tremendous advantage of being out on that golf course and knowing that golf course."

The Hoosiers’ lineup for the weekend consists of senior Brant Peaper, senior Michael McGee, junior Hugo Menendez, senior David Mills and sophomore Andrew Fogg, four of whom competed in this event last spring.

“To have four players who know that golf course is a tremendous advantage for us,” Mayer said.

“We have David playing five this week, but I don’t look at him as a five guy for us. He’s somebody who’s played in a PGA event and played in the U.S. Amateur this summer, and I think he has more experience than most of the other guys in the field at his position.”

Coming off a three-month competitive layoff, Peaper said the Hoosiers’ offseason regimen will greatly help the team this weekend.

“It was not a break for us,” Peaper said. “We were in the weight room four times a week, so we should not miss a beat. It’s been really beneficial for us.”

The Hoosiers, who received the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in the tournament, face off against the winner of No. 5Ohio State and No. 12 Wisconsin Friday afternoon.

Get stories like this in your inbox