The IU men’s golf team will travel to Wolf Run Golf Club in Zionsville, Ind., this weekend to compete in the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. The three-round tournament will consist of 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday.
The tournament format allows for five players to compete in the team portion, and three others to participate individually. IU Coach Mike Mayer said playing everyone is vital.
“There’s only one way to improve in this game, and that is to compete,” he said.
Last year, the Hoosiers placed second behind a record-tying performance by now-graduated Brant Peaper. He carried the team with an 11-under par 202 through three rounds, scorching the rest of the field by seven strokes.
IU will be without their top three scorers from this tournament last year, continuing an early season trend.
Senior David Mills, juniors Andrew Fogg and Nicholas Grubnich, sophomore Max Kollin and freshman Will Seger will compete in the team portion this weekend.
Sophomore Sean Stone and freshmen Andrew Havill and Keegan Vea will participate
individually, separate from the team scoring.
Wolf Run Golf Club challenged Mills and Grubnich last year, as they registered 15-over and 17-over par scores respectively.
Grubnich said Wolf Run is especially penal off the tee, which adds increased focus on hitting fairways.
“I think one of the big factors this week is just keeping your ball in play,” Grubnich said. “It’s about positioning your golf ball and making it as stress-free as possible.”
The Hoosiers have alread played at Wolf Run this fall.
“Our familiarity with the course could be very advantageous to us if we allow it to be,” Mayer said. “We also know that if we are not striking the ball well, we are going to be in for a long tournament.”
Seger said he knows the team will have to overcome some adversity this weekend.
“You kind of have to go into Wolf Run knowing that you’re going to make some bogeys and knowing that you’re going to hit bad shots here and there,” Seger said.
The field will be made up of 14 schools, including defending-tournament champion Illinois, who narrowly defeated IU by three strokes last year.
Mayer said the fields at the Northern Intercollegiate and Olympia Fields Fighting Illini Invitational were brutal, and the eighth and 11th place finishes do not translate to disappointments.
“With all the players, we feel like we have two good weeks under our belt, and we feel like we are getting better,” he said.
Grubnich said the team wants to be in contention on Sunday.
“All we are really looking for is to have a chance on the last day, and then whatever happens from there, happens,” he said.
Follow reporter Mike Nichols on Twitter @Mike_Nichols1.