IU men’s golf finished in seventh place at the General Hackler Championship played Sunday until Tuesday at Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The competition consisted of three rounds, one each day.
Weather conditions in Myrtle Beach became progressively worse throughout the competition, head coach Mike Mayer said. Sunday was clear, then the weather became cold and windy on Monday. Tuesday, the final day, was the worst with cold temperatures, wind and rain.
The team ended the first round Sunday in a tie for fifth place. The team was led by freshman Drew Salyers, who shot a 3-under-par 69 to tie for 11th individually. Four of the Hoosiers lineup of five had an improved performance on the back nine of the round.
IU would fall to 10th place after the second round, where none of the Hoosiers shot under par. Freshman Clay Merchent shot an even 72 during this round to lead the team.
“Really the first stumble this team has had, the first time we’ve had to really face adversity,” Mayer said after the competition.
The Hoosiers finished their time in Myrtle Beach on Tuesday, climbing to seventh place in the third round. The team was again led by Merchent, who shot 2-under-par for his best performance of the competition. He was joined by Mitch Davis, also shooting his best on Tuesday with 1-under-par.
“The kids really came back strong today, really showed what we’re made of,” Mayer said. “I’m extremely proud of the way we were able to come back today.”
The team’s overall score across the three rounds was 876, 12-over-par. Merchant led the Hoosiers individually, finishing the competition tied for eighth individually, his third top-10 finish in as many events.
Only three of the 15 participating teams finished the competition shooting under par, North Carolina State University, the University of North Florida and the University of Louisville.
IU returns to competition on April 3-4 at home for the Hoosier Invitational, the program’s first intercollegiate competition at the new Pfau Course in Bloomington.
“It should give us a distinct advantage over the competition we face, we know that golf course better than, obviously, everybody,” Mayer said.