“Overall, we just made too many big numbers,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “I told the team going into the tournament it’s tough to play on the water, and we tried to do that too much. Too many balls in the water, too many big numbers.”
IU finished 10th out of 15 teams and 40 strokes behind the teams tied for first place — North Texas and Michigan State. The Hoosiers’ score of 299 in the first round had them tied for last place with West Virginia.
“We have to be a little more aggressive coming out, and that was part of our gameplan this tournament,” Mayer said. “But it’s hard to be aggressive when you’re hitting the ball in the water.”
The only Hoosier to get off to a good start at Quail Valley was freshman Jake Brown, who posted a 72 in the first and second rounds Monday, which tied him for 18th place heading into the final round Tuesday. However, Brown shot a 77 in his final round to drop him into a tie for 34th place.
“We got off to a bad start and had some hiccups,” junior Keegan Vea said. “We want to start getting off to better starts so we can start contending and have a little bit more fun on the final day.”
Vea, like Brown, also finished in a tie for 34th place with a score of 221, which was the highest finish for IU at Quail Valley.
Senior Max Kollin tied for 41st, which is his highest placement on the leaderboard this season. Also, his overall score of 223 was one stroke off of his best performance of the season.
Junior Andrew Havill tied for 61st, posting a 227 total. Sophomore Brendon Doyle tied for 65th and was just one stroke behind Havill.
“We’re still looking for that guy to really step up and take control of this team,” Mayer said. “We’ve got a lot of people capable, but as of yet, nobody really ready to take charge.”
After a promising effort at the Windon Memorial in Chicago, this makes two discouraging tournaments in a row for IU. Mayer said the mistakes made at Crooked Stick were different from those made at Quail Valley, but they’re mistakes nonetheless. He said Crooked Stick was a much tougher golf course than Quail Valley.
“But one thing that’s similar is that somehow we keep making big numbers,” Mayer said. “We have to — when we make a mistake — not make it be so penal or dramatic, and that is something we continue to do and have to continue to work on.”
The Hoosiers have one tournament remaining in the fall season, the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic in Maui, Hawaii. The team will be looking for a result closer to resembling the Windon Memorial, as opposed to a result resembling Crooked Stick or Quail Valley, to send them into the offseason.
“We need a good finish in Hawaii to help our confidence as a team,” Vea said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and be in contention heading into the final round because that’s our overall goal. We want to be right there and have a chance.”