For most of the season for IU men’s golf, head coach Mike Mayer has emphasized the team’s struggles when finishing tournaments.
At the Crooked Stick Invitational in Carmel, Indiana, the team ran into struggles from the start. IU finished the tournament in eighth place.
“The first five or six or seven holes, we really put ourselves in a hole,” Mayer said. “We got down so quick, so early, there was just no way to get all the way back.”
IU stumbled out of the gate at the tournament and finished the first round tied for ninth place.
“I’ll give our kids credit; we kept fighting and managed to salvage a respectable first round,” Mayer said. “We played pretty fair from then on.”
Round two, which was played Monday as part of a 36-hole day, saw IU drop into 10th, despite a three-stroke improvement. At the end of the first day, sophomore Mitch Davis led the team at three over par.
On Tuesday, the third round brought high scores all around. The wind picked up, bringing an additional opponent no team handled well. Most teams had their worst round of the tournament on the second day, and no team did better than scoring five strokes over par.
“It was really windy today; the golf course was playing really difficult,” Mayer said. “The greens were really fast. With those 20-25 mph wind gusts it was pretty tough out there.”
Senior Brock Ochsenreiter was one of the only bright spots of the third round for any team, not just the Hoosiers. He shot one under par Tuesday, a score beat by only one other player.
“I walked with Brock the whole tournament,” Mayer said. “I thought he really had a chance to have a good tournament. He just didn’t score his ball very well the first two rounds. He hit the ball extremely well [Tuesday] in tough, windy conditions.”
Ochsenreiter still wasn’t pleased with his performance.
“I hit a lot of greens and had some really good putts, but unfortunately I didn’t make a lot of them,” Ochsenreiter said. “I just hit a bunch of greens and gave myself good looks at it. Earlier in the season I was missing in the wrong spots. I felt today I missed in good spots.”
Ochsenreiter’s third round was a bounce-back round after finishing the first day eight strokes over par. He was fourth on the team and tied for 48th overall going into Tuesday. By the end of the day, Ochsenreiter was pacing IU and was tied for 21st overall.
Ochsenreiter mentioned the team has been playing in the wind all season, so it didn’t catch him off guard. He said he made the adjustments needed in order to hit the greens.
“He’s a senior, he’s experienced, he’s talented, we need that from him,” Mayer said. “It was great to see him come out today and fire a one-under par 71.”