Hoosiers Cruise to Second Straight Pinehurst Championship
March 18, 2008
PINEHURST, N.C. - The 26th-ranked Indiana men's golf team might want to consider relocating to Pinehurst. For the second straight season, IU captured team and individual titles at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate. All five Hoosiers in the lineup and one individual finished in the top 10, and the team cruised to a dominating 24-shot victory in the 19-team field on Tuesday afternoon.
Indiana, who co-hosted the event with East Carolina, shot its second round in red numbers, posting a 1-under 287 at The Centennial Pinehurst No. 8 (par 72; 7,035 yards). The Hoosiers shot a 286 on the first 18 and a 292 yesterday en route to a 1-over 865 for the 54-hole tournament. Eastern Kentucky placed second at 889, while IU easily handled its Big Ten rivals No. 17 Penn State (895) and No. 43 Wisconsin (904).
"I don't quite know where to start," Indiana head coach Mike Mayer, who picked up his 11th championship in his 10-year tenure, said. "Overall, this was a great team effort, just three outstanding rounds of golf from our No. 1 golfer to our last individual. That is what we hoped for, that is what we worked for all week down here, and that is what we got."
Seth Brandon birdied 11 and 13 before coming in with five straight pars to hold off three other golfers to earn a one-stroke win. Brandon, who finished the tournament with an even-par 216, shot a 72 on the final 18 for the second victory of his career. He also shared medalist honors at the 2006 Kepler Intercollegiate.
"I'm so happy Seth picked up another title. He was just outstanding throughout the tournament and really deserved this victory," Mayer said.
Brandon was the lone player in the field to break 70 in round one (69) and maintained his one-shot lead with a 3-over par in round two. Golfstat's 83rd-ranked collegiate player has a first, a second and tie for fifth to his credit in eight events this season.
One of the players he held off was teammate Ren Han. The true freshman earned a spot in the lineup for the first time at the spring-opening John Hayt Collegiate and battled his way back into the lineup this week. After a career-best 70 in the opening round, Han followed with a 75 before firing a closing 72. Han's 217 topped his previous 54-hole score of 234, and he is the third Hoosier to secure a runner-up finish this season.
"Ren Han played unbelievable in just his second tournament," Mayer said. "To birdie 17 and 18 in the third round, he just came through in a big way."
Junior Jorge Campillo collected his third top-5 and fourth top-10 finish of the season with a share of fifth place. Campillo ended round three with a 1-over 73 en route to a 2-over 218 finish.
Meanwhile, sophomore Alex Martin continued his red-hot play with his second consecutive day in red numbers. He carded the low-Hoosier round of the afternoon with a 2-under 70. After opening with an 82 in round one, Martin finished 3-under par over the final two rounds to move into a share of 10th place. It is the best finish of the season for Martin, who now has five top 25s.
Not to be outdone, junior Drew Allenspach joined Martin in a tie for 10th place at 223. Despite a 3-over 75 this afternoon, Allenspach used an even-par 72 in round two to earn his best placing of the year. He now has one top 10 and four top 25s in seven events.
Indiana also played with three individuals, and true freshman Paul Park did not want to be left out of the low scoring. Like Martin, Park struggled to an 80 on the first 18 before improving to a 74 in round two and a 3-under 69 today. He was one of only six golfers in the 100-player field to break 70. In just his third career event, Park topped his previous-best finish by 59 places.
"This team has a lot of depth and a lot of character," Mayer said. "Jorge played like he always does, but Alex bounced back from an opening 82 to get a top-10 finish. Drew was solid as usual and Paul, to finish with a 69 in the final round says a lot about him. As I said before, this was a great team effort and we are continuing to move in the right direction."
Up next, the Hoosiers return to their true home course for the adidas Hoosier Invitational. Indiana will look for its second straight victory on Saturday-Sunday, March 29-30.
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