Indiana Daily Student

Confidence is high as Indiana prepares for the start of the 2022 men's golf season

<p>Then-sophomore Clay Merchent prepares for his turn during the Hoosier Collegiate Invite on Sept. 6, 2021, at Pfau Golf Course in Bloomington. Indiana has recruited two major players, freshman Cal Hoskins and senior Ferris State University transfer Thomas Hursey, to compete in the upcoming season.</p>

Then-sophomore Clay Merchent prepares for his turn during the Hoosier Collegiate Invite on Sept. 6, 2021, at Pfau Golf Course in Bloomington. Indiana has recruited two major players, freshman Cal Hoskins and senior Ferris State University transfer Thomas Hursey, to compete in the upcoming season.

Coming off a disappointing end to their 2021 season, morale is high for Indiana head coach Mike Mayer as the men’s golf team gets ready to begin its 2022 season.

“We’re not afraid of anybody, we’re not going to be afraid of anybody, inside the Big Ten or outside the Big Ten,” Mayer said. “We’re going to face the best and be ready for the challenge.”

The Hoosiers kicked off their season at the Fighting Irish Classic in Notre Dame, Indiana on Sept. 4-5. After a lackluster 12th place finish at last year's NCAA Regionals tournament, the Hoosiers are working hard to turn things around and earn an NCAA Finals appearance.

“We’re trying to eliminate those major mistakes and emphasize that if we get in trouble — which will happen — let’s get out of trouble and go for it,” Mayer said.

[Related: First year head coach Brian May looks to turn the Indiana women’s golf program around]

Getting out of those tricky spots will be a key point of emphasis this season, Mayer said. The athletes know mistakes will happen, and must be prepared to get out of those difficult spots.

“You’re going to hit bad shots and get into trouble,” Mayer said. “There’s no reason to beat yourself up, it’s about embracing that next shot.”

This mentality will be key for the Hoosiers, whose competitive schedule will involve some of the  best teams in the nation.

Mayer said the schedule this season could be the strongest it’s been in his 25 years at Indiana. This tough schedule should help prepare and acclimate the Hoosiers for the difficult competition they will face in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments in April and May, respectively.

The Olympia Fields Invitational will be one of the toughest golf tournaments of the season for the Hoosiers. The three-day tournament will be Sept. 16-18, and will be an early opportunity for the Hoosiers to start the year strong.

A key to a strong season will be the additions of freshman Cal Hoskins and senior Ferris State University transfer Thomas Hursey.

Hoskins was one of Indiana’s 2022 recruits and has been working diligently to get prepared for the season. Mayer said Hoskins has had a “really solid summer” of training and practicing.

Hoskins missed the cut for the first weekend of competition, but is only using this to motivate him further.

“He sent me a text that he wants to be the best player to ever play here for me at Indiana University,” Mayer said.

Hursey, Indiana’s other big offseason addition, was the 72nd ranked Division II golfer in the nation last year. So far, he has impressed coaches and his fellow players and has made an immediate impact at practice, Mayer said.

Mayer said Hursey “fits the program well,” and will be a good addition to the squad. Hursey is set to be in the lineup and compete in the Fighting Irish Classic for the Hoosiers.

As the 2022 season gets underway, the Hoosiers will be put to the test early, but are prepared to face the challenges head-on.

“Sometimes you get beat up and knocked down by this game,” Mayer said “Now you’ve got to learn how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it.

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