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IU men's golf aims to survive at Fighting Illini Invitational



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Coach Mike Mayer talks to freshman Evan Yakubov during practice at the IU Golf Course in Jan. 2018. Mayer has been the head coach of IU men's golf for 21 seasons.  IDS file photo Buy Photos

The IU men’s golf team on Friday will compete against nine ranked opponents, including the reigning national champions, in Chicago as part of the Fighting Illini Invitational.

The invitational begins at 8 a.m. Friday and goes through Sunday. The three-round, 54-hole competition will be held on the par-70 North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

The Hoosiers will play against the national champions Oklahoma State, Alabama and Texas A&M as part of the field. Alabama is currently ranked second in the nation, while Texas A&M is ranked fourth in the country.

“It’s maybe the strongest or second strongest field in college golf,” IU Coach Mike Mayer said.

There are six other teams ranked in the top 25 set to play in the tournament.   

Mayer said the team isn’t worried as much about where it places, as long as it puts out a good showing at one of the premier golf courses in the United States.

“We have no goals but to play the best we can possibly play,” Mayer said.

Mayer has also decided to shake up IU's lineup for the Hoosiers' second outing, bringing in freshman Mitch Davis to replace junior Evan Gaesser.

Davis showcased his skills last weekend, finishing tied for seventh with 12 birdies over three rounds in his collegiate debut.

“He’s a very intense young man," Mayer said. "He's got a bright future."

The Hoosiers hope to bring the right players that can handle the North Course. It is a long course, 7,353-yards, with quick greens, so the course requires both the ability to hit the ball far and have a consistent short game.

“We are going to have to be totally on our game,” Mayer said.

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