Hoosiers, Overton Win Hoosier Invitational
Bloomington, Ind. - Coming off a second-place finish at the Northern Intercollegiate, the Indiana men's golf team broke through with its first tournament title since the 2000 Legends Intercollegiate, winning the Hoosier Invitational by 33 shots. The Hoosiers finished with a score of 837 (273-283-281), blowing away the 15-team field.
"We got a big win here in a big way," said head coach Mike Mayer. "This team needed to get through the door and win, and they did that today. These scores to me are unbelievable. It's not like the golf course was playing easy. In fact, it played very tough today. We had the best round of the day. They did everything I could ask of them and more."
Individually, All-America candidate Jeff Overton captured the individual title by five shots at 10-under-par, setting a new Indiana individual 54-hole record with 203 (65-69-69). The fifth-ranked golfer in the nation won for the second time in his career and for the second time in as many tournaments. He has fired five rounds in the 60s in the six rounds he has played this season. Overton's performance this weekend saw him equal the 18-hole low single round school record (65) and saw him set a new 36-hole school scoring record (134).
"I've been playing very well for the last four months," said Overton. "I have a lot of confidence in my game right now."
In addition to Overtion, junior Mike Birkenfeld finished runner-up to his fellow Evansville, Ind., native, finishing at 5-under-par 208 (71-68-69). In only his second collegiate appearance, Birkenfeld picked up his first career top 10 to go along with his 19th place finish at the Northern Intercollegiate.
"It's a big, big plus," said Mayer of Birkenfeld's play. "Jeff (Overton) has so much confidence in Mike and wants him in the lineup bad, and Mike has a ton of confidence in Jeff. It's a great situation for us having those two in the one-two spots. My hat is off to Mike Birkenfeld. He had a great, great tournament."
"I'm very pleased with the way I played," said Birkenfeld. "I hit the ball real well. I didn't make worse than bogey. I hit the ball real solid. We did what we had to do and took care of business. It feels good to get that win. It has been a while since we won a tournament."
Senior Ryan Cassidy continues to flourish, claiming his third career top 10 finish after a final-round 71 propelled him into a tie for fifth place at even par 213 (68-74-71). He was joined in the top 10 by junior Heath Peters. The Garrett, Ind., native finished in the top 10 for the second-straight tournament and for the ninth time in his career with 214 (69-71-74).
Freshman David Butwell and sophomore Aaron Walters ended up with top 20 finishes. Walters, playing in his first collegiate tournament, put together three solid rounds, finishing with 220 (71-76-73). Butwell completed the event with 220, carding three rounds under 75 (72-74-74).
Also competing in his first event, sophomore Oren Hodak claimed a tie for 39th. The Dallas, Texas, native opened with a pair of 73s and finished with a final-round 79.
As a team, in addition to breaking the 54-hole record, Indiana set a new 36-hole scoring record at 556 (273-283). Coupled with last week's second-place finish, this is the best two-week stretch for an Indiana team since 1990, when IU won the UC/Johnny Bench Invitational and finished tied for second place at the Indiana Intercollegiate.
"It's awesome," said Overton of IU's victory. "It's our home golf course and everyone felt real comfortable. We just went out and tried to do the things we know we can do, and we did it. The win gives everyone a lot of confidence. This win shows we can win big and move on to next tournament with our head high."
The Hoosiers return to the course Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 6-7 at the 49ers Invitational in Charlotte, N.C.
1) INDIANA 837 (-15)
2) Eastern Michigan 870 (+18)
3) Austin Peay 872 (+20)
T4) Bowling Green 878 (+26)
T4) Ball State 878 (+26)
6) Michigan 880 (+28)
7) Ohio University 886 (+34)
8) Xavier University 888 (+36)
9) INDIANA CREAM 890 (+38)
T10) Belmont University 894 (+42)
T12) University of Akron 903 (+51)
T12) IUPUI 903 (+51)
14) Western Kentucky 906 (+54)
15) Wright State 911 (+59)
1) Jeff Overton 203 (65-69-69)
2) Mike Birkenfeld 208 (71-68-69)
T5) Ryan Cassidy 213 (68-74-71)
T7) Heath Peters 214 (69-73-72)
T19) David Butwell 220 (72-74-74)
T19) Aaron Walters 220 (71-76-73)
T39) Oren Hodak 225 (73-73-79)
T39) Rob Ockenfuss 225 (77-75-73)
T52) Brad Marek 228 (77-76-75)
T64) Scott Seibert 231 (74-79-78)
T70) *Kirk Wood 233 (75-76-82)
T75) *Tad Sacheck 235 (75-78-82)
*competed as an individual
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