Orlando, Fla. - Returning to the links for the first time since its victory at the Xavier Provident Invitational on Oct. 13-14, the 19th-ranked Indiana men's golf team struggled to find its winning mettle. The Hoosiers sit in eighth place with 601 (297-304) after the opening two rounds of the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate.
"We don't have any excuses," said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. "We wanted to come out and play the best we could, however, we made too many mistakes and weren't as tough as we thought."
Junior Jeff Overton, Golfstat's top-ranked golfer in the nation, led IU with a 1-under-par total of 143 (70-73). The Evansville, Ind., native, looking for his fifth consecutive victory, is tied for fourth place, five shots behind South Alabama's Gareth Maybin.
"Jeff started off very well," said Mayer. "He was 3-under-par through his first five holes. 1-under for two rounds is still a good way to start the spring season."
In addition to Overton, junior Heath Peters carded 151 after an opening round 76 and second round 75. The Garrett, Ind., native is locked in a tie for 28th entering the final round.
Freshman David Butwell nearly matched Peters, posting back-to-back 76s, good for 152.
After a solid opening round 3-over-par 75, junior Mike Birkenfeld struggled the final 18 holes, finishing with an 81 in round two.
Closing out the lineup, senior Ryan Cassidy ended the opening rounds with 158 (78-80).
"We are not discouraged," said Mayer. "This is a tough, demanding golf course," said Mayer. "You have to hit the ball straight and keep it in play and that's tough to do when you're not playing outside very much. We will come out tomorrow, learn from our mistakes, play a little better and shoot some better scores."
IU looks to make a run at its fourth straight title, while Overton looks for his fifth championship in as many events in the third and final round of the event. The first tee time is set for 8 a.m. on Tuesday at the Rio Pinar Country Club.
T4) Jeff Overton 143 (70-73)
T28) Heath Peters 151 (76-75)
T36) David Butwell 152 (76-76)
T55) Mike Birkenfeld 156 (75-81)
T66) Ryan Cassidy 158 (78-80)
1) South Alabama 577 (295-282)
2) Central Florida 578 (290-288)
3) Coastal Carolina 588 (289-299)
4) Lamar 589 (296-293)
T5) Texas-Arlington 594 (296-298)
T5) Mercer 594 (297-297)
7) Kansas 599 (299-300)
8) INDIANA 601 (297-304)
9) South Florida 602 (298-304)
10) Middle Tennessee State 608 (307-301)
11) Richmond 610 (310-300)
12) Belmont 612 (309-303)
13) Florida Atlantic 616 (316-300)
T14) Davidson 619 (309-310)
T14) East Carolina 619 (311-308)
16) Oral Roberts 620 (300-320)
17) Wofford 624 (311-313)
18) Jacksonville 633 (316-317)