Hoosiers Travel to Kepler
The Indiana University men's golf team will compete in its sixth tournament of the spring this weekend at the 34th annual Robert Kepler Intercollegiate in Columbus, Ohio.
The event will be held on April 12-13, and will feature 17 teams from all around the Midwest.
Competing in the Kepler Intercollegiate along with the Hoosiers are Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State, Purdue, Toledo and Wisconsin.
The 54-hole tournament is slated for a 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday for 36 holes of play. The final 18 holes will be on Sunday, also with a tee-time start, off holes No.1 and 10, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
UNLV won the rain-shortened 2002 Kepler Intercollegiate with a 36-hole score of 576. Purdue's Lee Williamson won medalist honors with 139.
Deemed the U.S. Open of Collegiate Golf, the Hoosiers will make their 24th appearance at the Kepler.
The Scarlet Course will be setup at 7,251 yards and a par of 72. The famous course will feature tough U.S. Open conditions (high rough, fast greens, pins tucked) and also unpredictable weather.
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 Kepler Intercollegiate will be play five players and count the four lowest scores.
Kepler Intercollegiate Lineup
Competing for Indiana at the Kepler Intercollegiate will be: 1-sophomore Jeff Overton, 2-sophomore Heath Peters, 3-senior Ben Davidson, 4-senior Aldo Jordan, 5-freshman Scott Seibert.
"Quoting the Coach"
Indiana Head Coach Mike Mayer: "The Kepler is usually the elite district tournament of the year, because of the competitive field. The Scarlet Course is going to be set up tough, which I thinks give us an advantage. We are a strong golf team that plays well on long golf courses. Scarlet will have a lot of U.S. Open-type conditions, which should make for a competitive weekend."
A Course For Champions
This weekend's Kepler Intercollegiate will be played on the famous OSU Scarlet Course, which has been home to many champions and championships.
The Ohio State golf facility has been home to Jack Nicklaus, the 1995 and 2002 NCAA Championships, and the 1997 NCAA Women's Championships.
The course was designed by famed architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who also designed Augusta National Golf Club, the nation's most famous course and home of The Masters Tournament.
Last year, then-freshman Jeff Overton fired a 4-under-par 68, which was just two strokes shy of the competitive course record.
Overton Contends For Title
At last weekend's Marshall Invitational, sophomore Jeff Overton came very close to matching classmate's Heath Peter's medalist title from one week ago.
Overton, who tied for first individually, lost in a playoff to Kentucky's Matt Kohn for the outright medalist honors.
Overton opened with sub-par rounds of 67 and 69, and carded a final round 75 in tough playing conditions to finish at 211
Best Back-to-Back Since 1999-00
This past weekend's tournament marked the best back-to-back performance for an Indiana squad in more four years.
Indiana finished second at the Johnny Owens Invitational, and tied for second this past weekend at the Marshall Invitational.
For Indiana, the Hoosiers' finish marked the best back-to-back performance for IU since the 1999-2000 campaign, when Indiana finished second at both the Mauna Kea and Silver Springs Invitationals.
Overton Closing On Record
Sophomore Jeff Overton currently holds a 72.30 stroke average through 27 rounds, which is third best in school history. His average is third only to two-time All-American, Randy Leen (72.02), and current PGA Tour star and 1991 All-American Shaun Micheel (72.08).
Peters Earns Big Ten Honor
Last week, sophomore Heath Peters earned Big Ten Golfer of the Week accolades for his efforts at the Johnny Owens Invitational two weeks ago.
Peters fired a three-round 220 (70-75-75), which included a first-round 2-under-par 70, to capture his first collegiate individual medalist title by two shots over teammate Jeff Overton and Louisville's Brett Jones.
The Hoosiers will take a week off after the Kepler Intercollegiate, and then resume play, April 26-27, at the Bruce Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich.
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 is in 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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