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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers place fourth in Big Ten Championship

FRENCH LICK, Ind. — After a strong start to the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championship, the IU men’s golf team faltered on the weekend and finished in a tie for fourth place this weekend.

Wind gusts well above 20 miles per hour and a constant drizzle made the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort, which is notorious for its difficulty, more challenging than usual. As a result, scores were worse than anticipated — only one golfer in the field was able to post a four-round score under par.

After the opening two rounds on Friday, the Hoosiers found themselves in fourth place but only five shots out of the lead with rounds of 299 and 291. Senior Brant Peaper was tied for the individual lead at 140 (-4) after 36 holes and appeared to have recovered from his struggles at the Boilermaker Invitational a week prior; IU had placed itself in good position to contend for first place.

Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, the strong play would not continue into the weekend’s final two rounds. IU would go on to shoot back-to-back rounds of 300 to fall out of contention and finish with a four-round total of 1190 (+38), 27 shots behind champion Illinois.

Peaper was unable to capitalize on his strong Friday performance, shooting rounds of 79 and 81 on the weekend to finish at 300 (+12) and a tie for seventeenth place overall.
Junior David Mills, coming off a strong performance in West Lafayette, led the Hoosiers in French Lick, shooting rounds of 74-74-74-73 to finish at 295 (+7) and a tie for eighth place individually.

Mills said his strong play as of late comes from a renewed mental approach to the game.

“I’ve been working on the mental game a lot the last few weeks, trying to get my head together, straight, more clear and focused,” Mills said. “It’s been paying off a little bit.”

Seniors Michael McGee and Corey Ziedonis each finished in a tie for twenty-fifth place for the Hoosiers, shooting 302 (+14) over the four rounds. McGee posted scores of 77-74-76-75 in his first Big Ten Championship while Ziedonis shot rounds of 76-75-76-75 in his fourth such event.

The Hoosiers’ fifth finisher was sophomore Andrew Fogg, also competing in his first conference tournament, shot rounds of 79-79-74-77 to finish the weekend in a tie for forty-third place at 309 (+21).

Despite his team’s weekend struggles, Head Coach Mike Mayer said he felt his team played well enough to win.

“We got strong performances down the line ... everybody contributed,” Mayer said. “I really thought we could’ve competed for the championship this weekend, but it just wasn’t in the cards.”

The No. 59 Hoosiers, who entered the event needing a strong performance to solidify their case for an NCAA Tournament berth, did little to improve their résumé, although IU did finish ten strokes ahead of No. 29 Northwestern, the highest-ranked team in the field.

Mayer said he is confident of his team’s chances of earning a spot in the tournament.

“I really hope we do move on, and I think we will,” Mayer said. “I think we can get ready for Regionals, and we’ll make some noise there. I think we have that kind of a team.”

The NCAA will announce the fields for the first-round Regional tournaments sometime next week.

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