Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers finish 13th at NCAA Regional

After carding a four-man score of 318 Saturday at the NCAA Regional in Fayetteville, Ark., the IU men’s golf team saw its season come to an end, as it finished 13th out of 14 teams with a plus 67 for the 54 holes played Thursday through Saturday.

“We were a little flat coming out,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “At a difficult golf course, we got off to a bad start. It was hard to gain much momentum.”

Mayer said the team may have been tired going into the rounds, as it had to work extra hard at the end of the season just to make it to the tournament. The Hoosiers entered the tournament as the No. 11 seed in the 14-team regional.

IU finished fourth at the Big Ten Tournament, sixth at the Boilermaker Invitational and won the NYX Hoosier Invitational Crown and Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in the weeks leading up to the regional.

“We had to expend a lot of energy to get there,” Mayer said. “Our last four events were crucial to us. We barely snuck in the tournament. You hate to expend that much energy down the stretch to get into the tournament. I think it took its toll on us.”

Mayer said the team struggled with its starting hole, No. 10, on Thursday, and that put them in a bad position going forward. After shooting a team score of 307 in the first round, the team sat at 13th, unable to improve its pairing and start at an easier hole.

Senior Michael McGee shot an 84 on Thursday, his worst round of the weekend. His teammates, seniors Corey Ziedonis and Brant Peaper and junior David Mills carded 74, 74 and 75 that day, respectively. Mayer said McGee’s 84 was uncharacteristic of him.

“If he shoots 74, we’re right in the hunt,” Mayer said.

Friday, Ziedonis once again led the way with another 74. Mills carded a 76, and McGee and Peaper followed with a 77 and 79, respectively.

Mayer remained frustrated with the team’s ability to make birdie putts and execute after Friday’s round.

“We just didn’t take advantage,” he said. “We didn’t make our birdie putts. We made big numbers. Big numbers just killed us in both the Big Ten Championship and the NCAA Tournament.

“If we could’ve just eliminated some of those big numbers, I think that’s the opportunities I’m talking about. It really is. Sometimes a bogey is not a bad score to make, but we made doubles and triples and quads.”

The team shot a 318 Saturday, taking it from 10th back to 13th, but Ziedonis continued to keep a low score, finishing his collegiate career with a 76.

“We knew he’d give everything he had and he has all year long,” Mayer said. “He was a star performer.”

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