Indiana men’s golf made its third straight NCAA Regional appearance, this season in Auburn, Alabama, surrounded by top talent from across the country. Four top-25 programs: No. 1 Vanderbilt University, No. 8 Auburn University, No. 14 University of Tennessee and No. 24 Colorado State University joined the Hoosiers in Alabama for the three-day tournament.
The first round teed off Monday, May 15. Indiana ended the day in seventh place with a combined team score of 297 (+9). The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga led the group after the first round by shooting a team score of 283 (-5). Colorado State joined the Mocs as the only other team in the region to shoot under par in the first round by carding a team score of 285 (-3).
Indiana junior Drew Salyers led the team after the first round with a score of 72 (E). He was the only Hoosier to shoot par or better in the first round and ended the day in 11th. Salyers’ round was highlighted with three birdies and a strong 12 par conversions on the first 18 holes.
Fifth-year Senior Mitch Davis also recorded a top-30 finish, shooting a first round score of 74 (+2). Davis picked up birdies on the first and fourth holes. Sitting only five strokes behind third place after the first round, Indiana head coach Mike Mayer was confident the Hoosiers could keep fighting.
“We played solid and put ourselves in position, we are right where we need to be to make a run tomorrow,” Mayer said after the round concluded.
Indiana entered the second round on Tuesday prepared to strike, which they did by shooting a combined team score of 291 (+3). This score was the third best in the second round of the Auburn region and helped propel Indiana to a sixth place standing after the second day.
“We were very resilient today and handled adversity well,” Mayer said of the team’s day two performance.
Salyers shot one of the best rounds of the entire tournament on the second day, turning in a scorecard of 68 (-4). He either birdied or shot par on 17 of 18 holes, only recording a bogey once. Mayer was thrilled with the performance, calling Drew “simply outstanding” in the second round. A two-round score of 140 (72-68; -4) boosted Salyers from No. 11 to tied for fourth overall.
Three Hoosiers entered the top-30 individual scores after two days, including Salyers (72-68; -4), Davis (74-73; +3) and fifth-year senior Thomas Hursey (76-73; +5). Davis scored four birdies while Hursey scored three. They finished the second round tied for 19th and 30th place respectively.
Indiana shot a team score of 293 (+5) in the third and final round of the tournament, bringing their final combined tournament score to 881 (297-291-293; +17). This score placed Indiana in seventh place , just two spots shy of the cutline to advance to the NCAA Championship. Indiana was seven strokes off the fifth place finishers Colorado State which shot a team score of 874 (285-293-286; +10).
“The team played solid throughout the regional,” Mayer said following the end of the tournament. “We just needed a little more up and down the lineup to advance. Extremely proud of our effort.”
Four of the five members of the Indiana squad finished top-45 for the tournament, including Salyers (72-68-72; -4) tied in fourth place, Davis (74-73-73; +4) tied in 19th place, Hursey (76-73-74; +7) tied in 28th place and senior Noah Gillard (75-77-74; +10) in 42nd place.
Senior Harry Reynolds, who did not play the second round, finished with a score of 154 (79-NA-75; N/A).
While Indiana as a team will not move forward in the tournament, Salyers will continue as an individual. As the top-placing individual of a non-advancing team, Salyers qualifies to play in the NCAA Championship. He will be the first individual Hoosier representative in the NCAA Championship since Jake Brown reached the final in 2018.
“Drew was simply outstanding from start to finish," Mayer said after Salyers' regional performance. "He has the opportunity and ability to win an NCAA Championship."
This year’s NCAA Championship will be held at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona May 26-31. Fans at home will be able to watch on the Golf Channel, with scores being posted to the NCAA website shortly after the rounds finish.