Feb. 9, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
With the start of the IU men's golf spring season quickly approaching, IUHoosiers.com caught up with Head Coach Mike Mayer recently to find out his thoughts on what to expect from the seventh-ranked Hoosiers...
How do you translate the team's success from the fall into the spring?
"We hope it does translate. The thing with being a golf coach in the Midwest is dealing with weather. Having kids from Texas and southern Georgia helps as they get a chance to play during winter break. Having 6-7 kids go to Florida to play in tournaments definitely helps also. I know we're good. I think we're going to be able to handle the difficulties and start competing. The process is always difficult, always interesting, and we'll see how we handle it."
What are the team's keys to success this spring?
"First of all, I think our schedule is going to be much more conducive with preparing us for our goals. And our goals are to win a Big Ten championship and a national championship. I really like how the schedule has unfolded, I really like that we're opening at the Big Ten Match play championship; a brand new event. We (the Big Ten) are the leaders in the country on this event and other conferences will follow suit. The Big Ten coaches have worked very hard to get this thing established. It's an opportunity to go down to southern Florida, especially this time of the year, to compete not against southern schools but against Big Ten schools. It's on the Big Ten network; there are a lot of positives to this event. I think it's going to help us prepare for the season."
How is the emergence of Alex Martin going help this team in the spring?
A pair of freshmen in David Erdy and Chase Wright cracked the starting line-up in the fall, what do you expect from those two during the spring?
"Alex Martin has come from some relative obscurities to national promise. He did that primarily on the backs of two tournaments; his co-victory at the Olympia Field event on their national field with the top players and teams in the country. He tied for second with Jorge (Campillo) at one of the best, if not the best collegiate tournament in the country. What he did in those two tournaments has really propelled him to a national level."
"The Indiana duo of David Erdy
and Chase Wright
has been everything we have hoped, and expected and more. First of all, they're tremendous competitors; they do a great job on the golf course and a great job off the golf course. They're hungry. They're inspiring. It's always great to bring a freshman in, especially a freshman that can play because it brings a new level of excitement to the program. It's always something you want. Both of them add that kind of energy and excitement to the program. It's really helped us. They've been quite a good addition to the program and what we're doing."
Talk about hosting the adidias Hoosier Invitational on Apr. 11-12 at the IU Championship Golf Course...
"The adidas Invitational is going to be the second year for that event and obviously we're excited to play at home. Last year was an eye opener for the team. We had a pretty good team last year as well but I think we took the tournament a little lightly, thinking, this is our own golf course and we can't get beat here. And we got beat. We'll approach that tournament a lot differently. Even though we're playing at home there are some other distractions that might get in your way and some additional pressures that you don't see on the road. You have your fans and your friends out there and your co-students and your co-student athletes. It's the one chance to play in front of the home crowd. But it's great to play at home, and sleep in your own bed."
What do you expect at the NCAA Championships, held at Inverness in Ohio?
"We need to get out of regionals first and foremost. If we do get out of regionals, we can make some noise at finals. That's what we're all about. Anytime we have a chance to play at a national championship away from the south, away from the west, it is an advantage for teams in this area. The kind of grass we play off of, we'll be used to and the conditions we'll be used to. So obviously we have to get there first, but Inverness is a great place and we'd like to have a chance to go there and see what we can do."
The Hoosiers begin spring competition this weekend (Feb. 13-14) at the Big Ten Match Play Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. An event preview will be available later in the week.