The Hoosiers placed fourth in Loxley, Alabama, on Sunday at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational as junior Brock Ochsenreiter posted his best career round in the team’s final competition of the year.
The team finished behind No. 7 Wake Forest, Mississippi State and Kennesaw State. The Hoosiers posted a team score of 869, just three strokes away from the third place Owls and nine away from the second place Bulldogs.
“Some really bright moments,” Coach Mike Mayer said. “Then, some moments we need to work on and get better.”
The team got off to a slow start at this competition. Only one player on the team shot under-par at the par-72 course.
“We put ourselves a little bit behind,” Mayer said.
That was then remedied by a second-round, eight-under-par 64 by Ochsenreiter, two strokes better than his previous best at 66.
Ochsenreiter hit nine birdies and one bogey that round. He led the tournament in birdies with 15, two more than the next best golfer. According to Mayer, Ochsenreiter's hot putting was a key part of his career day.
“The young man has no fear,” Mayer said. “That’s what it takes to shoot a number like that,”
With that round, Ochsenreiter shot up to the top spot at the competition, but he ultimately finished second after reaching par in the third round to finish two shots behind the winner.
The underclassmen of the team bounced back as well, with freshman Harry Reynolds and sophomore Ethan Shepherd both getting under par in the second round. Shepherd turned in a score of 71 while Reynolds turned in a 70. They both dropped out of the top 25 by the third round, as Reynolds finished tied for 49th and Shepherd tied for 27th. Reynolds dropped 31 places in the final round after shooting 10 over-par.
“Harry Reynolds is still a freshman, and he played like a freshman today,” Mayer said.
The Hoosiers' next best placement was senior Jake Brown. Brown wasn’t a part of the second round bounce back. He shot one under-par his first round and then hit two bogeys on his way to a four over-par second round. He rounded out the tournament with another one-under par showing, getting him in the top 25 at tied-for-22nd.
Lastly, junior Even Gaesser finished above Reynolds at tied-for-47th. Gaesser posted a two-under, fiver-under and a three-under par score at each round respectively.
This event was the last tournament for the Hoosiers in 2018. The team will pick up its clubs again next year on Feb. 8. Mayer said the team has had an all right fall showing, but the ultimate goal of postseason golf isn’t secured yet.
“We know what we have to do in the spring,” Mayer said. “We have to come out in the spring and play really solid golf, no more slip ups, no more mistakes, can’t afford to have any more bad finishes, but we’ve definitely put ourselves in a position to have something good to happen to us."