The IU men’s golf team finished ninth out of 14 teams at the Windon Memorial Classic this week.
IU head coach Mike Mayer came away feeling unsatisfied with how the team played at the two-day tournament in Lake Forest, Illinois.
“We played well at times and obviously not so well at times,” Mayer said. “We had some good performances, but overall I think there’s more left with this team.”
The Hoosiers were led by sophomore Mitch Davis, who shot one stroke over par to finish tied for 16th overall. Davis shot relatively consistently, stroking two over par in the first round, one under par in the second and an even par in the third.
Davis said he was not pleased with his performance, despite beating his average score from last season in each round.
“It wasn’t all that great,” Davis said. “I just got the ball in the hole. I didn’t hit it all that well. It was just good course management.”
Davis also improved on his score from last year’s Windon Memorial Classic by 14 strokes.
He noted the difference between this season and last season.
“Last year at the first tournament I was playing as an individual, and this year I was playing in the No. 1 spot,” Davis said. “That’s where I want to be.”
Mayer said the team competed as hard as it could but had too much trouble finishing strong, especially in the third round.
The Hoosiers finished second out of four Big Ten teams in the tournament, but Mayer brushed off most of the significance, mentioning that you can’t play defense in golf.
Mayer said he was hoping they could chase down Northwestern, but it was nice to finish ahead of Michigan and Purdue, two schools that had performed well in their first two tournaments of the year.
“It’s always nice to beat our Big Ten opponents,” Mayer said. “That gives us an indication of where we stack up in the conference.”
IU’s struggles were prominent on longer holes. The team shot five over par on par-5 holes, which was second-worst in the tournament, and 37 over par on par-4 holes, which was third worst.
Par-3 holes provided little issue for the Hoosiers, where they shot two over par. Only the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and South Florida scored better.
Graduate Jack Sparrow turned in a strong first- round performance, leading IU with a score of two under par.
Mayer said it was nice to see a good performance out of Sparrow.
“Sparrow has been struggling this fall,” Mayer said. “He barely made the lineup for this tournament. He’s still searching, but I think he took a nice step forward.”
There are parts of the game IU needs to improve upon, but Mayer knows one tournament may be too early to judge the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
“I liked the consistency,” Mayer said. “I liked the fact we dug ourselves out of a hole a couple times, especially that second round.”
Although Mayer was disappointed in the Hoosiers’ showing, he said there were positive takeaways from the tournament as well.
“We did beat some nice teams that had good starts,” Mayer said. “Iowa State’s had a good start. Purdue had a good start. We got some good wins, but we just have to keep getting better and better and better.”