Indiana Takes Off for Spring Break at El Diablo
The Indiana University men's golf team will compete in its third tournament of the spring this weekend at the El Diablo Intercollegiate in Citrus Springs, Fla.
The event will be held on March 15-16, and will feature 20 teams from all around the country.
Competing in the El Diablo Intercollegiate along with the Hoosiers are Ball State, Colorado State, Elon, Eastern Kentucky, Iowa State, James Madison, Kent State, Louisville, Marshall, Methodist, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Penn State, Rhode Island, Richmond, West Florida, Wichita State, William & Mary, and Xavier.
The 54-hole tournament is slated for a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday for 36 holes of play. The final 18 holes will be on Sunday, also as a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start.
The Jim Fazio-designed El Diablo Golf & Country Club, which was named "America's best new golf course" in 1999 by Golf Digest, will be setup at a par of 72 and 7,045 yards.
The tournament is hosted by Marshall University.
Complete tournament results will be made available on the web at IUHOOSIERS.com following the event. Results can be viewed and printed out by choosing the Men's Golf link from the main menu. For more information, contact Jeff Smith at (812) 855-6209 or through e-mail at email@example.com.
The playing format for the El Diablo Intercollegiate will be play five players and count the four lowest scores.
El Diablo Intercollegiate Lineup
Competing for Indiana at the El Diablo Intercollegiate will be: 1-sophomore Jeff Overton, 2-senior Ben Davidson, 3-sophomore Heath Peters, 4-freshman Scott Seibert, 5-senior Aldo Jordan. Competing in an additional individual tournament will be Brad Marek, Rob Ockenfuss and Mike Miller.
"Quoting the Coach"
Indiana Head Coach Mike Mayer: "We felt like we were going in the right direction last tournament. We competed fairly well in last year's event, but we'll need some help from our No. 4-6 spots. This is a very tough golf course that I think will suit us well. It's long, but so are we. We just need to be ready to get off to a good start. We're just really anxious to get down there and play."
Big Red Comeback Rained Out
Storming back from sixth place, the Hoosiers were in contention for last weekend's Big Red Classic title. Unfortunately, heavy rains hit the Lake Diamond G&CC with five holes to play in the round. Half of the Hoosiers were under par for the day, including Jeff Overton who could not finish his short birdie putt to go 4-under-par.
36-hole results were made final and the Hoosiers settled for sixth.
Forced To Find Grass
Due to the snow-covered ground in Bloomington, the Hoosiers took to the road for competition March 1. IU was prompted to find a one-day event, being that the Hoosiers still had one official day of competition allotted to them by the NCAA.
Belmont University was willing to take on the Hoosiers in a dual match and defeating Indiana 289-294.
Peters Looking For A Repeat
Sophomore Heath Peters led the Hoosiers last year in the El Diablo. Peters fired a 4-over-par 220 (73-73-74) to finish tied for 10th. The Garrett, Ind., native is currently coming off a ninth-place tie at the Big Red Classic, where he shot a 1-under 143.
All About Consistency
Indiana's top three players, Jeff Overton, Ben Davidson, and Heath Peters, have carded rounds 75 and under a combined 46-of-54 rounds. All three have also carded the lone rounds in the 60s this year for IU - Overton and Davidson with 67s and Peters with a 68.
"Two" Close to Call
The No. 2 position on the Hoosier men's team has been up for grabs for two years now. But Indiana coach Mike Mayer will have a tough decision to make if he is solely going by the season statistics of Ben Davidson and Heath Peters. Both have taken 1,316 strokes in 18 rounds this year for a 73.11 average. They have also both carded rounds of 75 or lower in 15 of their 18 rounds this season.
After the Hoosiers' Spring Break, IU will travel to the new University Club golf course in Lexington, Ky., for the Johnny Owens Invitational. The event will be Mar. 29-30, hosted by the University of Kentucky.
New Faces, Familiar Places
This year's Indiana squad features many newcomers that hail from the same hometowns as current IU golfers. Newcomer Mike Birkenfeld and Jeff Overton are both from Evansville, Ind. and Evansville North H.S. Likewise, two other newcomers, sophomore Aaron Walters and freshman Joe Miller both played high school golf at Bloomington South in Bloomington, Ind.
Freshman Brad Marek also hails from the same hometown as junior Ryan Cassidy, Arlington Heights, Ill.
The Man in Charge
Head Coach Mike Mayer begins his fifth season at the helm of the Indiana Men's Golf program. His focus has been to rekindle the fire that brought the Indiana men's golf team a Big Ten Championship in 1998, and nearly accomplished that feat by contending for the title last season.
It appears that Mayer is right on course, as he is coming off his most productive recruiting season during his tenure.
Mayer is quite familiar with IU, as he is an alum of the university and spent nine seasons as an assistant coach under Sam Carmichael before taking over the men's program in the fall of 1998.
During those nine seasons as an assistant coach, Mayer was a part of two Big Ten Championships and a trip to the NCAA Championships.
As he continues his coaching career, he is looking to elevate the Indiana golf program to the highest level and has put a strong emphasis on recruiting in an effort to bring the best players to IU.
"Obviously we were very pleased with the immediate impact our freshmen made last year," said Mayer of the 2001-02 class that Golfstat ranked eighth in the nation. "Jeff (Overton) was our scoring leader and Heath (Peters) was right behind him. Having two freshmen at top of your lineup certainly bodes well for the future.
Mayer, a 1975 graduate of Jennings County High School, obtained degrees in journalism and English literature from Indiana in 1987, and went on to receive his master's degree in sport management from IU in 1998.
Mayer also serves as the Director of Golf at Indiana University in charge of the IU golf facility and is also a Class A member of the Professional Golfers Association of America and a Class A PGA Professional.
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