Illinois dominated the rest of the field, as they finished ahead of second-place Purdue by 19 strokes.
“There’s some great holes at Crooked Stick, and the golf course was in championship condition,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “With fast, firm greens and a lot of wind, we hit the ball in the water when we shouldn’t have hit the ball in the water,.”
Sophomore Brendon Doyle led the Hoosiers, as he finished tied for 30th, his best placement on the leaderboard all season. However, his score of 232 was his highest score of the season.
“The mistakes we made were big mistakes,” Mayer said. “We had far too many big numbers. You can make little mistakes, but you can’t make big mistakes, and we made some big mistakes.”
Junior Andrew Havill, tying for 34th on the leaderboard, finished one stroke behind Doyle. Senior Max Kollin tied for 45th and also had his highest score of the season.
Freshman Jake Brown, who raised eyebrows with his performance at the Windon Memorial, also struggled. Brown tied for 47th and also had his highest score of the season.
“I think I struggled in this tournament with making some big mistakes,” Brown said. “I had about one or two, maybe three too many mistakes in each 18 holes, which really hurt.”
As both Brown and Mayer pointed out, the weather and the condition the course was in this weekend played a huge role in the team’s rough outing this weekend.
“I’ve played that golf course probably 200-plus times, and I would say each one of these rounds was the hardest I’ve ever seen it,” Brown said. “I think the wind conditions were almost as strong as I’ve ever seen as well, and I think (the course) is probably in championship condition, similar to how the pros play it,”
Four out of the five golfers for IU had their lowest score in the second round at Crooked Stick. Mayer said he thought there was more to it than simply coincidence.
“That’s kind of been the M.O. of this team this year, to get off to really slow starts,” Mayer said. “But I think we just figured out in the second round that we could get it done.”
The team’s next tournament is the Quail Valley Collegiate in Vero Beach, Florida, which, as Mayer said, is a course the team has not seen before.
“It’s a nice field, some teams we haven’t seen this year,” Mayer said. “We just need to continue to get a little bit better and eliminate those big mistakes.”
Brown said the team needs to get back on the same page and reset after a tough tournament at Crooked Stick if they want to improve at Quail Valley.
“I would say everyone on our team made probably a couple numbers too big that could’ve been avoided pretty easily, and I think if we eliminate some of those big numbers, our scores drop dramatically, and we start beating more teams than we did,” Brown said.