IU men's golf Coach Mike Mayer headed into the 2017-2018 season with excitement about sophomore Brock Ochsenreiter’s potential.
Ochsenreiter’s fall and early spring season were marred by inconsistency as his two top-20 finishes were sandwiched by finishes outside the top-20.
The tables turned this weekend at the Bighorn Invitational in South Carolina as Ochsenreiter earned his best career finish, tied for second.
"He managed himself extremely well,” Mayer said. “I’m not really surprised with the outcome when a young man is that good and has that kind of potential.”
Ochsenreiter started off by shooting par in the first round and a five-under, 65, in the second round.
He closed out the tournament on day two by shooting a three-under, 69, in the final round, leading IU to a seventh-place finish.
The score of 67 tied Ochsenreiter’s best career round and gave him momentum he has not seen all year heading into the final round.
“In a desert course, you can get out of position fast, but I was always in the running,” Ochsenreiter said. “I wanted to go out there and make some birdies to put myself in contention to win.”
IU ranked third amongst the 12-team field with their third-round score. That came in large part to junior Jake Brown and senior Brendon Doyle scoring in the 60s along with Ochsenreiter.
This also marks the second consecutive tournament in which IU’s third-round score was more than 10 strokes better than its second round.
"We did everything we could do today to prove our position as best as we could,” Mayer said. “It just shows these guys what their potential and ability is.”
Freshman Ethan Shepherd struggled at the Bighorn Invitational and finished outside the top-60.
This came off a top-20 finish at the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular and an undefeated showing at Big Ten match play.
“He got in his own way a few times,” Mayer said. “I think he lost a little bit of belief in himself throughout the tournament. We have to help him find his confidence again.”
The Hoosiers will play two more tournaments before heading to Baltimore for the Big Ten Championships.
"We were right there with every other team,” Mayer said. “Our goal is to finish as well as we can to prepare for the ultimate tournament, which is the Big Ten Championship. This helps us in that regard.”
IU’s next tournament will be April 7, when the Hoosiers head to Kannapolis, North Carolina, for the Irish Creek Intercollegiate.