Indiana men’s golf begins its quest for the national championship title this week at the Champion Course in Palm Beach, Florida. The Hoosiers earned an NCAA Bid to the Palm Beach Regional, where they will compete as the No. 10 seed.
The tournament will consist of 54 holes over a three-day period starting on May 16, with single rounds being played each day.
Last time out, Indiana finished ninth out of 14 teams at the Big Ten Championships, which took place from April 29 to May 1. The Hoosiers waited until May 4 to find their name unveiled at the NCAA Selection Show.
The Hoosiers’ lineup is slated to look a bit different from previous ones. No. 1 senior Mitch Davis, No. 2 sophomore Drew Salyers, No. 3 sophomore Clay Merchent, No. 4 fifth-year senior Ethan Shepherd and No. 5 fifth-year senior Evan Yakubov will round out the starting five, with Yakubov entering the starting lineup for the first time during a team event this season. Senior Harry Reynolds will serve as a potential substitute, as juniors Noah Gillard and Eric Berggren will remain unavailable with injuries.
Indiana is ranked at No. 60 in the GolfWeek rankings but will face its highest-ranked competition yet. The top five seeds in the Palm Beach Gardens regional are ranked top-30 nationally. The top of the regional consists of No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Florida, No. 15 Notre Dame, No. 22 Florida State and No. 26 Purdue.
Indiana has had success against Purdue, defeating them three times this season. Their most recent victory against the Boilermakers was during the semifinals of the Big Ten Match Play Championships, coming en route to the Hoosiers’ second straight victory in that event.
This will mark the 11th time during head coach Mike Mayer’s tenure that Indiana will compete in an NCAA Regional. Of the previous ten, Indiana’s best finish was a tie for eighth in the 2010-11 season.
This is the first time that Indiana has received a bid in back-to-back years. The Hoosiers finished ninth last season at the Tallahassee Regional.
Indiana has never made it to the NCAA Finals with Mayer as head coach. In order to break that streak, the Hoosiers will have to finish in the top-5 in the 14-team field. If they do so, their season will continue May 27-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Indiana had a practice round on Sunday ahead of the first round on Monday, when they tee off with No. 11 San Diego and No. 12 Davidson at 8:55 a.m. ET from the 10th tee box.