Hoosiers Finish Fifth at Xavier Provident Invitational
MASON, Ohio - It was a "beast" of a day for the Indiana University men's golf team at the Xavier Provident Invitational Tuesday. From a rough start to a good finish, the roller coaster day proved to be as long as some of the lines at the nearby amusement park.
Entering Tuesday's final round at the Grizzly Course at the Golf Center at Kings Island, the Hoosiers had a "vortex" of a start, as they played the first four holes a combined 11-over-par. Hoosier sophomore Jeff Overton opened the round 4-over in his first three holes, which immediately pushed IU from fourth to ninth place.
One characteristic about this particular Indiana squad is the "don't give up" attitude, which was shown again Tuesday in Mason, Ohio.
The Hoosiers fought back on their final nine holes to finish fifth in the 18-team field. IU shot 868 (293-287-288), placing three strokes back of fourth-place Western Kentucky at 865.
"We got off to a difficult start today and our chances looked really bleak," said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. "These kids have guts though, and they showed that today by finishing well. I'm happy with how we brought it in today."
Wright State won the event with 853, while Eastern Michigan placed second at 855. The host Musketeers finished third at 861.
The Xavier Invitational concluded the Hoosiers' fall season.
While IU did not record a top-three finish in their five fall tournaments, Mayer is pleased with his team's performance, work ethic, and most importantly, their attitude.
"We had some great scores and consistency this fall, which made it a very productive start for us," said Mayer. "We have had four top-five finishes this season and in each tournament we were putting ourselves in position to win."
Indiana was led by senior captain Ben Davidson, who finished fifth with a 1-under-par 212. Overton placed tied for eighth at 215 (72-70-73). Sophomore Heath Peters showed his potential Tuesday carding the team's lowest round of 69. The Garrett, Ind., native placed tied for 16th with 218 (74-75-69). Freshman Scott Seibert finished tied for 49th with 223 (74-73-76), while senior Aldo Jordan rounded out the lineup with 229 (76-75-78).
For Davidson, it was a back-to-norm performance as the senior from Indianapolis, Ind. had been struggling with consistency this fall. His total of 212 is his 54-hole career best, while his Xavier outcome ties his best finish, which he set at the Emerald Coast Collegiate last year.
After a disappointing opening round of 73, Davidson played the rest of the tournament 3-under-par, which pleased Mayer.
"We told Ben that we're were going to lean on him this tournament and we were pleased to see that he could support the weight," Mayer said. "Ben's performance these past two days was just what we were looking for."
The Hoosiers will begin their spring season March 8-9, at the Big Red Classic in Ocala, Fla. The event is hosted by Indiana and Ball State.
The extended break has the Hoosier coach optimistic about the spring.
"Scott is healthy, and Ben, Jeff and Heath have established themselves in the top three of our lineup," Mayer said. "These kids have great work ethic, which puts us on the verge of winning each weekend. We're capable of winning these tournaments. We can't wait until March. We're going to hit the weights this winter and be ready for a great spring season."
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