Indiana Collects Second Title at Fossum/Spartan Invitational
April 23, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Last weekend, the Indiana men's golf team led after two rounds only to see Northwestern shoot the lowest round in the field to wrestle away the Kepler Intercollegiate title. This weekend, the Hoosiers held a four-shot advantage through 36 holes and made sure no one could catch them at the Fossum/Spartan Invitational. IU carded a final-round 295 en route to its second title of the season and the eighth in head coach Mike Mayer's eight-year career.
Indiana finished at 870 (292-283-295) to defeat the rest of the 12-team field featuring seven of the top-60 teams in the nation and eight Big Ten clubs. The Hoosiers defeated second-place Minnesota by four strokes and cleared Xavier and Illinois by five shots at the Forest Akers West Course (par 72, 7,013 yards).
IU has captured two championships in its last three events (Boilermaker Invitational on April 8-9) and earned two titles in one season for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign. During that season, Indiana claimed four titles, including the Fossum Invitational.
"This was another consummate team effort," Mayer said. "Everyone contributed to this title up and down the lineup. I'm proud of our effort and how we played today. We battled at the end when Michigan State took a brief lead and came back to win this thing. I could not be happier with these guys."
Facing difficult Sunday pin placements and poor weather conditions on the back nine, freshman Drew Allenspach carded the second top-10 finish of his career as he closed with a 73 to share fourth place. On the heels of a 72 and a 2-under 70 in rounds one and two, Allenspach collected a career-low 215 total.Charlie Soule of Denver brought home medalist honors with a 9-under-par 207 (67-71-69), seven shots ahead of Minnesota's Bronson LaCassie (72-73-69) and Northwestern's Chris Wilson (70-68-76).
"Drew had a great tournament," Mayer said. "He played extremely well from start to finish under some very difficult circumstances. I'm very proud of the way Drew competed."
The Sugar Land, Texas native recorded eight pars on the frontside to go along with a birdie at the par-5 eighth to go out in 1-under 35. Following bogeys at the 10th and 11th holes, Allenspach bounced back with a second birdie at the par-5 13th and then collected three straight pars. Despite a bogey at the tough par-5 17th, he grinded out a 1-over 73 for his second career top 10 (tied for 2nd at the Boilermaker Invitational).
En route to his third career top 10 and his second of the 2005-06 campaign, sophomore Santiago Quirarte turned in a final-round 72 to tie for 10th place. After scores of 75 and 70 in the first two rounds, Quirarte ended the event with a 217 total and gave the Hoosiers a huge lift on the final 18.
"What a great final round for Santiago," Mayer said. We really needed him to step up and talked to him about it before the round. He came through in a big way today."
Joining Quirarte at even par was freshman Seth Brandon. The Dalton, Ga., native sandwiched 72s around a second-round 80 to stake claim to a tie for 28th with 224. Brandon played the backside in 1-under 35 with two birdies and just one bogey.
Despite a 78 on the closing 18, freshman Jorge Campillo managed to share 26th position. His 3-under 69 in round two more than took care of a 76 in round one and his final round tally. Campillo finished the tournament at 223.
In his second tournament of the spring, senior Brad Marek secured a spot in the lineup for the season-ending Big Ten Championships. Although he shot a 78 to end the event, Marek secured a 225 three-round total following rounds of 73 and 74 to kick things off.
Up next, the Hoosiers head to the Big Ten Championships on Friday-Sunday, April 28-30. Northwestern will host the event in Chicago at the Conway Farms Golf Club. The tournament will go back to its 72-hole format with 36 holes played on Friday, 18 on Saturday and the final 18 on Sunday.
"We are obviously playing pretty well with a lot of confidence heading into the Big Ten Championships," Mayer said. "We are going to have to be at our best to be competitive with the great teams in this conference. Any number of teams can win this tournament, so we have to be ready to play. But we are excited, playing well and bring a lot of momentum into next weekend."
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