Hoosiers, Overton Win Once Again|
Mason, Ohio - Closing out its fall campaign, the 12th-ranked Indiana men's golf team, did something that has not been done since the 1974-75 season - win three straight tournaments. The Hoosiers captured the title in the rain-shortened 36-hole Xavier Provident Invitational by one stroke over second-place Marquette.
"We put ourselves in position to win the first day," said IU head coach Mike Mayer. "We took care of business to the point where the weather couldn't hurt us. We were ready to play today, but the conditions didn't warrant it. We got our third victory of the year, and I'm very proud of this team."
Leading the way for IU was All-American candidate Jeff Overton, who continued his record-breaking pace, capturing his fourth championship in four events. The Evansville, Ind., native fired a pair of 65s in the first two rounds of the event, defeating Marquette's Michael Bielawski by three strokes.
"I played really well and hit the ball extremely well this fall," said Overton. "I went out every time thinking I was going to win. More importantly, I think our team has jelled together really well. We need to continue climbing that ladder and keep playing great in the fall."
Overton, the second-ranked golfer in the country, broke his own school 36-hole record with 130 and set a new 36-hole record at the event. The team also set a new 36-hole record with 560 (283-277) at the tournament.
"Jeff Overton played two spectacular rounds," said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. "He continues to play incredible golf. There's really nothing to say that describes how well he is playing right now. It is amazing."
Overton now has scored in the 60s in 10 of his 11 rounds this season, and he broke his own 36-hole record for the second straight week with 130. His scoring average for the season is 67.18, and his scoring average in his last eight rounds is 66.5.
In addition to Overton, junior Mike Birkenfeld carded 139 after an opening round 68 and second round 71. The Evansville, Ind., native finished in a tie for seventh place, his second top 10 of the season.
"Mike Birkenfeld continues to give this team a huge lift," said Mayer. "He is playing extremely well and is coming up huge for us."
In his season debut, sophomore Scott Seibert gave the team a big boost with a second round 66, his lowest single round score in his career and the third-lowest score in IU history. Seibert recovered from an opening round 80 providing a huge second-round score propelling the Hoosiers to the top of the leaderboard.
"Scott Seibert rebounded very well in the second round with his 66," said Mayer. "His 66 was huge. It was a big, big round for this team and was a big factor in our victory."
Rounding out the lineup, junior Heath Peters finished with a 149 (74-75), and senior Ryan Cassidy ended the opening rounds with 153 (76-77).
IU closed out the best fall campaign in school history with three first-place finishes and one second-place finish. After opening the season with a runners-up finish at the Northern Intercollegiate, the Hoosiers went on to win the Hoosier Invitational, the 49er Collegiate Classic and the Xavier Provident Invitational in succession.
In the four fall events, the team and Overton's dominant performances shattered the record books. As a team, IU broke the school's 54-hole scoring record by shooting 837 (273-283-281) and the school's 36-hole record with 556 (273-283) at the Hoosier Invitational.
As well as breaking his own 36-hole record with his victory at Xavier, Overton broke two other records he owned at the 49er Collegiate Classic. His three-day tournament score of 199 broke his old IU record by four strokes, while his opening round 64 was a single round school record.
Indiana now takes a few months off before opening its spring schedule February 16-17 at the UCF/Rio Pinar Intercollegiate in Orlando, Fla. The Hoosiers will return to the course ranked in the top 20 in the nation, while Jeff Overton looks to become the school's 14th All-American.
"Winning the Xavier Invitational was a great way to end the fall, but we will continue to get stronger in the offseason," said Mayer. "We will be ready to come out this spring and pick up right where we left off."
1) Jeff Overton 130 (65-65)
T7) Mike Birkenfeld 139 (68-71)
T47) Scott Seibert 146 (80-66)
T66) Heath Peters 149 (74-75)
T90) Ryan Cassidy 153 (76-77)
1) INDIANA 560 (283-277)
2) Marquette 561 (280-281)
3) Bowling Green 563 (276-287)
4) Eastern Kentucky 570 (285-285)
T5) Georgetown 571 (279-292)
T5) Akron 571 (288-283)
T7) Richmond 572 (288-284)
T7) Wisconsin 572 (287-285)
9) Charlotte 574 (290-284)
10) Xavier 575 (290-285)
11) Ball State 576 (284-292)
12) Wright State 579 (294-285)
13) Western Kentucky 581 (290-291)
14) Xavier Blue 582 (298-284)
T15) Marshall 586 (300-286)
T15) St. Joseph's 586 (293-293)
T17) Eastern Michigan 592 (296-296)
T17) Ohio 592 (297-295)
T17) William & Mary 592 (297-295)
20) Iowa 593 (298-295)
21) Boston College 598 (301-297)
22) Cincinnati 600 (302-298)