Indiana Prepares for Ball State
The Indiana University men's golf team will compete in the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational Saturday and Sunday at The Players Club in Yorktown, Ind. The golf course is located just outside of Muncie, Ind. and the tournament will be hosted by Ball State.
The teams will begin play Saturday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start, and then have scheduled tee times Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The tournament is named in honor of Earl Yestingsmeier, who spent 31 years as the Ball State golf coach, including 28 seasons in a dual role of men's head golf coach and BSU's sports information director.
Joining the Cardinals in this year's tournament will be Akron, Austin Peay, Butler, Bowling Green, Cleveland State, Creighton, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Kentucky, INDIANA, IUPUI, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Western Kentucky and Wright State.
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.
Players will be made available at 3:00 p.m. each Wednesday at the IU Golf Course. Interview requests must be made 24 hours in advance to Jeff Smith at 855-6209 or by e-mail at jepsmith@indiana.
The Starting Five
Competing for Indiana at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational will be seniors Ben Davidson, Aldo Jordan, Mike Miller and sophomores Jeff Overton and Heath Peters. Competing as an individual will be junior Ryan Cassidy.
"Quoting" the Coach
Indiana Coach Mike Mayer: "This golf course will yield low numbers if if the conditions are right. At times it can get very windy up at this course, but so far, the weekend looks as if we will have perfect weather.
"One of the main reasons why we are competing in this event this year is because of Earl Yestingsmeier. Earl was a long-time coach at Ball State and we're thrilled to play in the tournament in which he is honored.
"The field is going to have a host of teams that can all compete for the title. Last year, Louisville won the event with an 847 (276-272-299), which is an incredible score. It's going to be a shootout and I think that is exactly what we need."
Hoosiers to Watch
Indiana competes in its second event of the year this weekend. Sophomore Jeff Overton finished tied for 14th at the season-opening Badger Invitational with a 215 (73-73-69). Overton carded a team-leading 74.45 stroke average in 31 rounds for the Hoosiers last season. His average marked the lowest season average of any freshmen in school history.
Sophomore Heath Peters will look to better his performance at the Badger this weekend. Peters carded a disappointing 227 (78-76-73), but is coming off a good qualifying weekend. It appears that Peters is back on his game, which makes him extremely dangerous.
Senior Ben Davidson is determined as ever to avoid a big-number round like the 81 he had in the first round. He should go low and stay low for the rest of the year.
Back In The 60s
This past weekend's qualifying for the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational marked what Indiana coach Mike Mayer called "the most impressive qualifying weekend he has ever seen."
Four Hoosiers carded rounds in the 60s on Sunday, led by sophomore Jeff Overton with a 67.
Perhaps the biggest surprise performance was that of junior Ryan Cassidy. The Arlington Heights, Ill., native recorded a team best 137 (69-68) over the weekend. Combined with his prior two qualifying scores, Cassidy qualified as the separate individual that will travel with the Hoosiers this weekend.
At the Badger Invitational two weeks ago, the Hoosiers, whether as a team or individual, broke par in each of the three rounds.
Senior Aldo Jordan fired a 2-under-par 70 in the first round, which was equalled by classmate Ben Davidson in the second round. Sophomore Jeff Overton fired a final round 3-under-par 69 to lead the Hoosiers to a 2-under-par 286 team score.
Indiana's team score marked the best single round IU has recorded since they shot a 284 at the 2001 Marshall Invitational.
Starting To Come Around
The Hoosiers' Badger Invitational team score of 870 marked the lowest 54-hole round IU has shot since the 2000 Legends Intercollegiate. Indiana blistered the Legends course with an 840 (279-278-283) en route to their most recent team championship.
Overton Nearly Captures Western Junior Title
Sophomore Jeff Overton placed second in the Western Junior this summer, which is the premiere golf tournament for juniors 19 and younger. The Evansville, Ind., native fired a final round 2-under-par 68 to finish with an even-par 280 (73-69-70-68) at the Sea Island Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.
"It was very pleasing to watch Jeff play in this major championship," said Indiana coach Mike Mayer. "Just over the summer, his patience, maturity and course management has improved greatly."
Peters Wins Northern Open
Sophomore Heath Peters played extremely well this summer and shot 66 to win the Indiana Northern Open, a field that is made up of professionals and amateurs from across the state.
"Heath's win this summer at the Northern was very impressive," said Mayer. "We are looking for Heath to compete for the top spot this season and have a very successful sophomore season."
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.
Other Summer Standouts
Senior Ben Davidson carded a 68 to place first in the Amateur Players Tour (APT) event at Heartland Crossing outside of Indianapolis, Ind. and also won the APT Open at the Legends of Indiana with a 138 (67-71).
Senior Aldo Jordan won the IV Nextel Championship in June, firing 139 (71-68) and placed third in a field of 64 at the XXII Manuel Pradoy Carlos Raffo International Cup with a 289 (74-76-71-68). Jordan also qualified for the 2002 Arizona Amateur Championship with 143 (72-71) and advanced to the sweet sixteen.
Senior Mike Miller qualified for the United States Public Links Championship firing a 9-under-par 135 (68-67) advanced to match play at the U.S. Public Links with 1-over-par 146 (76-69), but lost in the first round.
Staying Close to Home
Not since the 1993 season has the IU men's golf team hosted a Big Ten Championship. That will change this year as the Hoosiers will host the conference championship, May 2-4, 2003. Indiana will also host the Northern Intercollegiate Sept. 28-29, which will include many of the Big Ten teams.
Of the 12 tournaments this season, IU will travel out of the tri-state area (Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio) just six times. IU has two tournaments in Michigan and Florida and one each in West Virginia and Wisconsin.
New tournaments this year for IU include the Earl Yestingsmeier Invite, hosted by Ball State at the TPC at Woodland Trails. Indiana will also return to Lexington, Ky., for the Johnny Owens Invitational. The event will be held on the new University Club of Kentucky Golf Course, the new home golf course of the Kentucky Wildcats.
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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