The final day of the Loyola Intercollegiate was a round of golf Jake Brown isn’t going to forget anytime soon.
The redshirt freshman posted a score of 62 Tuesday to give him a course record and the second-lowest single round score in IU program history. PGA golfer Jeff Overton set the best single round score with a 61 in 2004.
Brown was also named Big Ten Golfer of the Week on Wednesday after his historic round.
“That round was awesome,” Brown said. “It got me hyped up and I wanted to win, but all I can say is there’s a lot more to come. It was a huge confidence boost for me and that was something I really needed right now.”
In addition to Brown’s individual success, the Hoosiers finished second in the tournament with a team score of 842 (-22) for their best team finish since winning the NYX Hoosier Invitational in 2013.
“We came in wanting to compete and wanting to continue to improve,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “We put up some great numbers and it shows we’ve really been working hard. We showed we’re a good team. We showed we are capable of shooting numbers that can be competitive both in the Big Ten and nationally.”
Through three days of competition, Brown started off strong in round one with three birdies.
He carded a 66 on the first round, giving him a glimpse at what he could accomplish in this tournament. He lacked consistency in the second round but finished the day tied for 13th place with a score of 72. After day three, he had four birdies on five holes and finished in second place with a score of 202 (-14).
Brown’s fearless performance showed a level of “swagger” the team has been lacking so far, Mayer said. With the lineup constantly changing, Mayer said his team is diverse, flexible and capable. He said he’s not afraid to put them out there.
Sophomore Brendon Doyle also had a strong performance for IU. Doyle also scored a 66 in the first round Sunday and a 71 for the second and third rounds, tying him for eighth individually. Doyle’s tournament score of 208 was a career-best.
Junior Keegan Vea finished tied for 33rd with a total score 217, followed by senior Max Kollin tied for 38th and junior Andrew Havill tied in 41st. Redshirt freshman Jack Sparrow competed as an individual and ended the tournament carding a score of 229.
The team as a whole struggled during the second round, but that doesn’t take away from IU’s performance in the first and third round, Mayer said. The Hoosiers made some mistakes, Brown said, and will continue to work on finding that level of consistency from the whole team in the coming weeks.
“We’ve made some serious improvements, but there are still serious improvements to be made,” Brown said. “This was a good time for us to play as well as we could, and we proved a lot of things individually and as a team. Did we come up a little short? Yes. But are we at our full potential yet? No, not even close.”