Hoosiers Finish Second, Overton Ties for Fourth at St. Croix
St. Croix, Virgin Islands - Gunning for its fourth victory in its last five events, the Indiana men's golf team came up one stroke short, finishing second at the 14-team St. Croix Collegiate Classic. The Hoosiers fired a final round 295, giving them a three-day total of 879, one-shot behind Fresno State's 878 total and one-stroke ahead of third-place Ohio State's 880 total.
"We got off to a good start, but we had a rough middle stretch of holes that cost us the tournament," said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. "It's amazing the three days we are here that one stroke separates first and second. We learned a lot on this trip, and I'm proud of the kids and the way they competed."
The finish marks IU's second runner-up finish of the season (Northern Intercollegiate, 9/20-9/21). Indiana has three victories and two second-place finishes in six events this year.
"It's difficult to win these events," said Mayer. "It takes a lot of things going right to win these events because all these teams here are good. It just wasn't our time to win a tournament."
Heath Peters led the Hoosiers with a 69 in the final round, the lowest round of any golfer in the field. It was the junior's first round in the 60s this spring and his third round in the 60s this season. The Garrett, Ind., native finished the tournament in 16th place with 222 (76-77-69).
"I'm especially happy for Heath," said Mayer. "He had a great round today after struggling the first two days of the tournament. It was a huge round for this team."
Entering the day one shot out of the lead, junior Jeff Overton closed the tournament with a 76, good for a fourth-place tie at 216 (71-69-76). The second-ranked golfer in the nation finished two strokes behind Fresno State's Chad Spencer.
Overton picked up his fifth top 10 finish in six events this season and his first top 10 of the spring season.
Junior Mike Birkenfeld just missed his third top 10 of the year, tying for 12th with 221. The Evansville, Ind., native carded a final round 76 after rounds of 70 and 75 on the first two days.
Additionally, sophomore Scott Seibert netted IU's second lowest round of the day with a 74. Seibert closed out the tournament tied for 36th place at 228 (73-81-74).
"Scott finished strong the last four holes, which was also big for this team," said Mayer. "He did a great job."
Rounding out the lineup, senior Ryan Cassidy concluded the tournament tied for 53rd at 233. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native finished with 233 (76-73-84).
David Butwell fired a final round 78 playing as an individual, moving into a tie for 26th. The freshman shot 226 (76-72-78) for the event.
"I'm very pleased," said Mayer. "We learned a lot this trip, and I'm proud of the kids and the way they competed."
Next up, Indiana returns to the links at the Steve Kerr Invitational on Friday-Saturday, March 19-20 at the Tuscon National Golf Course. The event will be co-hosted by Colorado State and the University of Denver.
T4) Jeff Overton 216 (71-69-76)
T12) Mike Birkenfeld 221 (70-75-76)
16) Heath Peters 222 (76-77-69)
*T26) David Butwell 226 (76-72-78)
T36) Scott Seibert 228 (73-81-74)
T53) Ryan Cassidy 233 (76-73-84)
*-played as an individual
1) Fresno State 878 (292-297-289)
2) INDIANA 879 (290-294-295)
3) Ohio State 880 (293-296-291)
4) UNC-Wilmington 884 (297-290-297)
5) Xavier 887 (291-301-295)
6) Southeastern Louisiana 888 (295-290-303)
7) Penn State 891 (302-296-293)
8) Rhode Island 894 (300-290-304)
9) Oral Roberts 895 (296-304-295)
10) Ball State 913 (308-306-299)
11) Marshall 918 (299-306-313)
12) Eastern Michigan 925 (306-308-311)
13) Air Force 929 (316-304-309)
14) Akron 940 (307-321-312)
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