IU men’s golf finished in sixth place during the Big Ten Championships this weekend at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana. The team contended with strong competition from teams such as Illinois and Iowa, both ranked in the top 50 of Golfstat, along with strong winds.
Winds at speeds up to 20 miles per hour battered the course throughout the first day as only Northwestern sophomore John Driscoll shot under par out of the entire field.
The Hoosiers finished the first round with a score of 311 and were led by junior Mitch Davis at 3-over-par. Davis’ score was even on the front nine, but he found trouble on the final hole to result in a score over par.
“We got off to a really poor start, kinda got it together in the middle of the round and then finished really poorly,” head coach Mike Mayer said.
IU’s lineup improved in the second round Saturday, finishing its day with a score of 302. Junior Harry Reynolds was subbed out for sophomore Eric Berggren, who shot a 7-over-par 79.
Sophomore Ethan Shepherd surged midway into the second round, picking up an eagle on hole 9 before a pair of birdies early on the back nine. Shepherd bogeyed three late holes to finish the round with a 1-under-par 71.
“We still didn’t get anywhere near the performance we’re capable of,” Mayer said.
The third round Sunday yielded the best results of the tournament for the Hoosiers as they finished Sunday with a score of 293. They were led in scoring by freshman Clay Merchent, who birdied five times but had trouble on hole No. 8 while bogeying hole No. 14.
IU ultimately finished with a final tournament score of 906, good for 42-over-par. Ohio State and Michigan State finished at 41-over-par and 40-over-par, respectively. Shepherd was the top Hoosier finisher individually at ninth place with a 7-over-par 223.
“I didn’t really feel like we played up to our capability any round,” Mayer said.
Winning in collegiate golf takes consistently strong performances from all members of a lineup along with a standout performer or two. Illinois and Iowa found that, and the two finished first and second, respectively. Illinois won the championship by a single stroke after its lineup ended the third round with a score of 289.
The Hoosiers will now wait to find out their NCAA Tournament fate, with the field to be announced at 2 p.m. Wednesday on the GOLF Channel’s Collegiate Central coverage.