After a solid first and second-round performance at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic, IU men’s golf struggled in the final round in Maui, Hawaii. The Hoosiers finished the weekend at 14th place out of 19 teams.
“I thought we played very well at times and were moving up the leaderboard through the first two rounds and into the start of the third round,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “But we made some mistakes that we know we can’t make, and it ended up costing us spots on the leaderboard.”
IU was tied for 11th place after the first round, with a team score of 291, which is the Hoosiers’ second-lowest first round score of the season. Mayer had been emphasizing the need to get off to better starts, and the team saw that focus pay off in the beginning.
“We were just really, really prepared to go,” junior Andrew Havill said. “The night before, coach gave us one of our best pre-round talks, and everyone was just excited to get out there and get after it. I think confidence was high throughout the first round.”
Havill led the team in the first round with a 71, his lowest first round score of the season and tied for his lowest score for any round of the season. Havill was 25th on the individual leaderboard after the first round. Freshman Jake Brown finished the round one stroke behind Havill.
In the second round, the Hoosiers moved up to 10th with a team score of 294. Junior Keegan Vea led IU this round, posting a score of 71, which is tied for his lowest first or second round score of the season. Senior Max Kollin improved his score by eight strokes from the first round to the second round.
“Overall, we did get some very strong play from Andrew Havill and Keegan Vea this week,” Mayer said. “I thought they both played exceptionally well through most of the tournament and continue to show the development we need to make.”
Havill and Vea both posted scores of 75 in the final round to bring their overall scores to 220, which tied them for 36th. 220 was Havill’s best score of the season and Vea’s second best score of the season.
“We know the abilities are there, it’s just a matter of executing it during competition rather than practice,” Havill said.
Overall, Brown finished tied for 59th with a score of 225. Sophomore Brendon Doyle, whom Coach Mayer has stated numerous times could be the guy they’re looking for to lead the program, tied for 69th place, posting a 227 for the weekend. Kollin finished tied for 86th, scoring 234 overall.
“I think our mojo got down a little bit through the middle of that final round,” Havill said. “We really got off to a good start. Par 5s towards the later end of our round were a little bit tougher, and it was windy, and a couple of us made a couple big numbers that didn’t allow us to really finish strong.”
This tournament wraps up the fall season for IU. The team will break for the rest of 2015 and will resume in February 2016 for the Big Ten Match Play Championship in Florida.
“I think we have learned a lot as a team through our fall schedule,” Mayer said. “We know some areas we need to address, and I know our guys will keep working to improve in those areas over the winter as we get ready for the spring schedule.”