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Wednesday, Nov. 29
The Indiana Daily Student


Seniors to play in final home tournament

The Hoosiers are coming home.

After a fall season that took place entirely outside of Bloomington and an opening portion of the spring that had events in Florida and Texas, IU men’s golf will play host to and compete in its annual NYX Hoosier Invitational at the IU Golf Course this weekend.

IU has historically been successful in its home event, with two first-place finishes and a pair of top-five efforts in the tournament’s four-year history.

“We’re comfortable here,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “We travel so much, we don’t play at home, so this gives us the opportunity to play at home.”

The Hoosiers, who struggled to find their stride in the opening weeks of the spring season, won their second event of the 2012-13 campaign at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., two weeks ago.

“Winning last week was huge for us,” senior Michael McGee said. “We kind of have some negative momentum throughout the spring. We would have two or three guys step up, never getting a full five-guy effort. Finally, we had four guys who played well down in Florida. I think the spring break week got us a lot of good momentum — knocked all the rust off permanently. We got the ball rolling.”

The tournament will mark the final home event for seniors Brant Peaper, Corey Ziedonis, Michael McGee and John Beringer. Each one of the four-year players has been a major part of a program that has appeared in the NCAA Tournament each season during their careers, and has also collected nine event titles and 40 top-25 individual finishes during that time.

Ziedonis said much of the group’s success has come from closeness on and off the course.

“We’ve all grown together — academically, in the weight room, on the golf course, in practice — and we’ve all been able to keep each other accountable,” he said.

Not only will it be the senior’s last time playing in Bloomington, but this weekend’s event carries added pressure for the Hoosiers, who are attempting to secure a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Hoosiers sit at No. 60 in the national rankings. It is generally thought that teams who end the season in the top 68 of the rankings will be all but guaranteed entry into the postseason.

“Winning isn’t enough,” McGee said. “We can win by five shots and lose spots in the rankings. It’s happened before in this tournament, and we’re not in a position to let that happen.”

Mayer said he expects his team to be prepared for the pressure that comes with the event.

“We’re going to try to make a statement with the NCAA,” he said. “We’re going to try to win this thing, and we’re trying to win it big.”

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