Hoosiers Resume Spring at Steve Kerr
Bloomington, Ind. - In six events this season, the Indiana men's golf team has captured three first-place and two runner-up finishes. The team looks to continue its successful run at the Steve Kerr Invitational on Friday-Saturday, March 19-20. Sundance Golf Club in Buckeye, Ariz. will serve as host of the event, which consists of 14 teams, including 24th-ranked Colorado State. Tee times are slated for 7:30 a.m. MST with 36 holes on Friday and 18 holes on Saturday.
Head coach Mike Mayer will send a lineup consisting of the third-ranked golfer in the country, junior Jeff Overton, along with fellow classmates Heath Peters and Mike Birkenfeld. Senior Ryan Cassidy, sophomores Oren Hodak, Scott Seibert and Brad Marek and freshman David Butwell will compete for the final two spots in the lineup. The other three golfers will compete as individuals at the event.
The Hoosiers are coming off a second-place finish at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic on March 5-7, falling one shot shy of Fresno State. Overton led the way for IU, finishing in a tie for fourth place, good for his 16th career top 10. Birkenfeld narrowly missed a top 10, ending tied for 12th.
Mayer expressed his views on what he has seen from his team this spring and what he expects at the Steve Kerr.
On the team's performance at the St. Croix Collegiate Classic:
"I felt like we accomplished quite a bit last week at the St. Croix Collegiate. Obviously we would have liked to finish a couple of shots better with the victory, but overall I felt it was a very productive tournament. Finishing second in a 14-team field is difficult to do. It's early in the season, and we are right where we need to be at this point in the spring."
On the Steve Kerr Invitational:
"Our tournament schedule just gets better and better throughout the spring and the Steve Kerr is no exception. Colorado State is one of the hottest teams in the country right now and probably the favorite to win this tournament. The field from top to bottom is extremely strong, and we will have to play well to be competitive."
On Jeff Overton:
"Jeff Overton is close to being where he needs to be but not quite there yet. He had a chance to win at St Croix, probably should have won at St Croix, but he was not mentally and emotionally tough enough to do it drown the stretch. He is, though, getting better and better with each event, and he will have to be reckoned with at this event."
On Mike Birkenfeld:
"Mike Birkenfeld had a good tournament at St Croix, but it could have been a great tournament. He had a mental lapse midway through both his second and third rounds, which really cost him a chance to win the tournament. He's getting closer and closer to where we need him to be."
On Heath Peters:
"Heath Peters last round at St Croix (a 3-under 69) is indicative of how he can play. His first two rounds at St Croix, though, were far from what he should be doing. We need Heath in a big way to play a complete tournament at the Steve Kerr. If he does so, he will be tough to beat and consequently the team will be tough to beat."
On the lineup at the Steve Kerr:
"We will have five players playing for the final two spots in seven (7) rounds of qualifying in Phoenix before the Steve Kerr. All five have earned the chance to either stay in the lineup or get a spot in the lineup. It's going to be a very competitive week for these five young men and hopefully motivation for everyone."
On where the team is at:
"This team is very close to returning to the form we had in the fall when he won three of four events. We are going to work our tails off this week to try and regain the confidence we need to win again."
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