Bloomington, Ind. -- After a spectacular fall season and a strong offseason, the 19th-ranked Indiana men's golf team returns to the links next week at the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate. The event, hosted by Central Florida, will take place on Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 16-17 at the Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Fla.
Head coach Mike Mayer will send a lineup consisting of the top-ranked golfer in the country, junior Jeff Overton, along with senior Ryan Cassidy, juniors Heath Peters and Mike Birkenfeld and freshman David Butwell.
Mayer recently sat down to look back at the team's successful fall, offseason and his lineup for next week's tournament.
On the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate:
"We are looking forward to getting back into action at the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate. It's an interesting 18-team field featuring primarily southern schools who we don't get a chance to compete against on a regular basis."
On the team's offseason workouts:
"We've worked very hard in the offseason with a strenuous strength and conditioning program, and I feel that collectively, we are in the best physical shape we've ever been in. We will go down to Florida with an extremely positive attitude. Our goal is to be mentally and physically tougher than our opponents. I'm confident that if we play up to our potential, we can be competitive right out of the gate."
On Jeff Overton:
"Obviously, Jeff Overton had a sensational fall season. Jeff has worked extremely hard in the offseason, and I know he's ready to get the spring season started. His stellar play this past fall has brought a lot well-deserved attention to himself and this program. He's our team captain, and he's done a great job for us both on and off the course."
On Heath Peters:
"I look for Heath Peters to have a breakout spring. He's in the best shape he's ever been in and all he needs is a little early success, and he could be dangerous."
On Mike Birkenfeld:
"There's not a tougher competitor in college golf than Mike Birkenfeld. He's our 'secret weapon' -- a relative unknown player who is mentally tougher than anyone he plays against. Add that to the fact that he hates to lose and our opponents have a very dangerous adversary to deal with."
On Ryan Cassidy:
"After three years of playing on a very limited basis, Ryan Cassidy established himself in the lineup this past fall. There's not a better human being on the face of this earth than Ryan. He's worked hard, never complained and deserves a lot of credit for his endurance. Ryan's confidence is growing and growing with each tournament."
On David Butwell:
"David Butwell worked extremely hard in the offseason. He practiced and played golf nearly every day this winter when there was no snow on the ground. It didn't matter what the weather conditions were, and how cold it was, he was out there getting himself ready. His work in the weight room was also impressive. He is stronger, both mentally and physically, and I look for great things from David in the future."
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