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IU set for Big Ten Championships in Baltimore



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Senior golfer Brendon Doyle chips the ball onto the green during practice Feb. 1, 2018, at the IU Golf Course.  Sofia Hay Buy Photos

Since senior Brendon Doyle joined the IU men’s golf team in the fall of 2013, he has never seen the Hoosiers finish in the top five of the Big Ten Championships. 

During his career, Doyle has been a part of an IU team that has moved in and out of the top-10 at the conference tournament throughout the years.

This weekend, the Hoosiers will look to change that.

“We’ll keep it one round at a time,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said. “We feel good about things. We’re positive.”

Coming off a tied-second finish at the Boilermaker Intercollegiate two weeks ago, IU will travel to Baltimore for the Big Ten Championships. 

No. 89 IU finished just one stroke back of first place and has seen itself move into the top-100 of the GolfStat rankings.

“It left a little taste in our mouth of what could’ve happened,” Mayer said.

Along with the Hoosiers, 11 others Big Ten teams find themselves in the top-100 and will look to make a run for the title.

Mayer said he feels the field is wide open.

"There is a lot of parody in our league this year — of the 14 teams, I think 12 could make a run if they get playing well,” Mayer said. “That’s exciting and scary at the same time. A lot can happen.”

IU will send out Doyle, along with juniors Jake Brown and Jack Sparrow, sophomore Brock Ochsenreiter and freshman Ethan Shepherd.

Ochsenreiter comes into the conference tournament with momentum, as he has placed in the top-15 of each of the past three tournaments. 

It is a similar case for Brown, as he comes into play with two consecutive top five finishes under his belt.

“We’ve got momentum,” Mayer said. “We’re playing as well as we’ve played all season. I think we can make a run for this thing.”

A large part of what IU can accomplish will depend on what Doyle can do in what could be his final collegiate tournament. 

Despite being IU’s third best golfer this season, Doyle has not placed in the top-20 of a tournament since mid-March.

“Brendon’s got a lot of talent, sometimes his expectations get in his way a little bit,” Mayer said. “We need to really help him get out of it. He’s very important to this team and very important for us in this tournament.”

The tournament is schedule to tee off this Friday, and IU will be paired with Michigan and Wisconsin in the first round.

The first group will begin at 9:40 a.m. 

No. 13 Illinois is the reigning champion and comes in as the only Big Ten team ranked inside the top-30. 

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