The IU men’s golf team traveled to Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, for its final tournament of the fall season — the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational.
Following the Crooked Stick Invitational where the team could not rebound from a poor first round, there was a lot of emphasis put on coming out strong in round one at the Ka’anapali Classic. The Hoosiers were able to do exactly that, posting their best single round score of the season — 8-under, 276.
“That first 13-14 holes of day one was as good as I’ve seen us play,” Coach Mike Mayer said. “We’ve been a little slow getting out of the gate, and we wanted to really get out there and getting going at it — which we did. I think that was a great start and shows us what we can do.”
One constant struggle for the Hoosiers this season has been the inability to maintain strong play from round to round, and the inconsistency proved to be fatal for the Hoosiers once again.
The team would go on to shoot a 14-over, 298 in round two and a score of 19-over, 303 in round three. The Hoosiers finished the tournament 16th out of 21 teams, marking the team’s third finish outside the top-20 in five fall tournaments.
“Maybe we made it too much of a focus to get off to a good start, because at Crooked Stick we didn’t,” Mayer said. “We need to keep it consistent, we talked a lot about that.”
Despite the constant movement up and down the leaderboards this season, there are still positives to take heading into the spring. Two of the most notable players this fall for the Hoosiers were junior Jake Brown and senior Brendon Doyle.
Brown went into the Ka’anapali Classic with back-to-back top-10 finishes, before finishing tied for 41st in Hawaii. Doyle, who was a co-medalist at the Windon Memorial just over a month ago, finished tied for 49th at the Ka’anapali Classic.
Along with Brown and Doyle, Mayer has high hopes for sophomore Brock Ochsenreiter. Ochsenreiter has had three top-30 finishes this fall and finished in Hawaii tied for 34th — first among all Hoosiers.
“I think Jake, Brock and Brendon have really established themselves,” Mayer said. “Now we have to find the other two components to a team that can go to the Big Ten Championship later in the spring and compete for a title.”
The team will now take its winter break before heading back to tournament play Feb. 9, in Palm Coast, Florida, for Big Ten match play.
“If you take those hiccups and a couple little mistakes away, we’re right where we need to be,” Mayer said. “I still think we can take a lot from what we did this fall and get some momentum going to the spring.”