Indiana Heads to Kentucky
The Indiana University men's golf team will compete in its fourth tournament of the spring this weekend at the Johnny Owens Invitational in Lexington, Ky.
The event will be held on March 29-30, and will feature 15 teams from all around the Midwest.
Competing in the Johnny Owens Invitational along with the Hoosiers are Ball State, Eastern Kentucky, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Morehead State, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Western Kentucky, Xavier, Arkansas-Little Rock and Vanderbilt.
The 54-hole tournament is slated for a 8:00 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday for 36 holes of play. The final 18 holes will be on Sunday, also at 8:00 a.m. with tee times off holes No. 1 and 10.
The tournament is hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Purdue (857) is the defending team champion, and Kentucky's John Holmes (207) is the defending medalist.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The playing format for the Johnny Owens Invitational will be play five players and count the four lowest scores.
Johnny Owens Invitational Lineup
Competing for Indiana at the Johnny Owens Invitational will be: 1-sophomore Jeff Overton, 2-sophomore Heath Peters, 3-senior Ben Davidson, 4-freshman Scott Seibert, 5-senior Aldo Jordan.
"Quoting the Coach"
Indiana Head Coach Mike Mayer: "This is a brand new course for us, so we'll have to pay close attention to detail during our practice round Friday. We had a productive Spring Break and we're ready to play. We just need to have everyone on the same page at the same time. I am more and more convinced about the talent on this team. We just need to go out and show it. If we do that, we have a strong chance of winning."
The Comeback at El Diablo
After a rough beginning at the El Diablo Intercollegiate last week, the Hoosiers stormed back in the final round with a 296 for a seventh-place finish. Indiana beat both Big Ten teams in the field, Penn State and Michigan, and two top district teams in Miami (Ohio) and Xavier.
Hoosier Individuals Lead The Way
Also in action for Indiana over Spring Break were three Hoosier individuals competing in a separate tournament close to El Diablo. IU freshman Brad Marek and sophomore Rob Ockenfuss controlled the 21-man field with impressive sub-par scoring. Marek, a native of Arlington Heights, Ill., won the event with a two-round total of 3-under-par 141 (70-71). Ockenfuss finished second, one stroke back at 142 (-2). Senior Mike Miller also competed in the event and finished with a 150 (76-74).
Peters Liking El Diablo
Sophomore Heath Peters has led the Hoosiers the past two years at the El Diablo. Peters carded a final round 3-under-par 69 to finish with 221 (76-76-69), tied for 11th place. Last year, Peters fired a 4-over-par 220 (73-73-74) to finish tied for 10th.
All About Consistency
Indiana's top three players, Jeff Overton, Ben Davidson, and Heath Peters, have carded rounds 75 and under a combined 48-of-63 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 and 69.
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.
The Hoosiers will next travel to the Marshall Invitational in Huntington, W.V., April 4-5. The event will be held on the Guyan G&CC. The Hoosiers have finished third in three of the last six years in the event (1997, 1998, 2000).
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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