For the second time this season, the IU men’s golf team will play a tournament in Indiana.
The Hoosiers will participate in the Crooked Stick Invitational at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, Monday and Tuesday.
IU will look for a better in-state result than the first time around. In the team’s first tournament of the season— the Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville — the Hoosiers finished 11th in a 16-team field.
However, this time the Hoosiers have momentum heading into the tournament following their third-place finish at the Windon Memorial in Evanston, Illinois, earlier this week.
“I think we did a solid job and I think that will carry over,” Coach Mike Mayer said. “We know the golf course and I’m looking for a solid performance. I’m really confident in these young men and what they’ve done and how they’ve improved.”
Following a 14th-place finish at the second tournament of the season— the Fighting Illini Invitation— the Hoosiers met with their team psychologist Chelsi Day to discuss the mental element of the game.
A frequent problem for the Hoosiers early in the season was letting the play on one hole affect their mentality heading into the next one, which resulted in consecutive above-par holes.
“We talked about staying neutral,” junior Jack Sparrow said. “If something good or bad happens, you have to get back to that neutral state of not letting it affect you in any way. I think it allows you to bounce back a lot better.”
Another subject in the theme of overcoming tough stretches is senior Brendon Doyle. Following a tough junior season, and a poor start to his senior season, Doyle was able to turn his fortunes around at the Windon Memorial.
Highlighted by a career-low score of five-under 65 in round three, Doyle was named a co-medalist for the first time in his career.
“His teammates knew he could do it, and I knew he could do it,” Mayer said. “I think he’s realizing now that he can do it. It’s a big boost for him and a big boost for his teammates because they know we see this from Doyle all the time, now we saw it in a tournament and I think we’re going to continue to see it.”
Despite the amount of times the Hoosiers have played at Crooked Stick, they know that it is not a lock for their first victory of the season. Each course presents its own challenges and the team looks to not be over aggressive when play starts.
“If we can get away with very few doubles or worse we’re going to be successful,” Mayer said. “On that golf course— not that we’re playing conservative or that we’re taking the aggression out of their hands— we want to make sure we don’t make big mistakes.”