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Monday, Dec. 11
The Indiana Daily Student


Hoosiers fighting for NCAA Tournament bid

What a difference six weeks can make.

The IU men’s golf team was scuffling Feb. 24. The Hoosiers had not won a tournament since the season-opening Northern Intercollegiate in early September and were coming off a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Match Play Championship and a 12th-place finish at the Bayou City Collegiate Championships.

A final-round push to capture a title at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in mid-March and another trophy at the NYX Hoosier Invitational two weeks ago have not only broken the Hoosiers’ run of poor form, but have given the team positive momentum heading the postseason.

“We got some momentum in Florida, and I think that’s carried through throughout the spring,” Mayer said. “We’re getting more competition within the team, and that also helps. We’ve got some more people stepping up.”

Among those who have stepped up for the Hoosiers is sophomore Andrew Fogg, who captured his first career first-place finish at the NYX Hoosier Invitational two weeks ago. Fogg, who was left out of the lineup for the tournament and played as an individual, was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his efforts, joining Michael McGee and Brant Peaper as Hoosiers to collect the award this season.

The strong team play as of late has put to rest many early-season questions about the ability of the Hoosiers to find depth behind standout senior Brant Peaper, who has held down the No. 1 position all season.

“We’ve had great play at times from (senior) Michael McGee, we’ve had great play from (senior) Corey Ziedonis, and we finally got some great play from (junior) David Mills last tournament,” Mayer said. “They’ve stepped up at times, but not as consistent as we need to be. We’re going to need more consistency from those three.”

The Hoosiers will travel to West Lafayette this Saturday for the Boilermaker Invitational, an event in which they are defending champions.

Despite a strong field featuring five Big Ten opponents, Mayer said his team’s biggest obstacle to a third-straight victory could be the weather.

“We’ve got to handle the weather,” Mayer said. “It’s going to be cold, which is not uncommon for West Lafayette this time of year. We’re just going to have to deal with it and be better and stronger than everybody else.”

This weekend’s event will be the final regular-season opportunity for the Hoosiers to ensure a berth in the NCAA Tournament. IU sits at No. 55 in the Golfweek national rankings, dropping two positions despite its recent victories.

“We definitely haven’t earned it yet,” Ziedonis said. “The pressure is definitely there, but we just want to go out and play the best we can play. We aren’t worried about (NCAA) regionals yet.”

The No. 55 Hoosiers will tee off 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the Kampen Course in West Lafayette.

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