EAST LANSING, Mich. - Jeff Overton carded a 5-under-par 67 earning medalist honors and leading the Indiana men's golf team to the championship at the Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational. The Hoosiers grinded through cold and windy conditions to defeat the 14-team field (nine Big Ten teams) with a three-round total of 880 (288-295-297).
'This was a gutty performance from this team under very tough conditions,' said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. 'We were determined to win this tournament. Even though we struggled early, we held it together and got the job done. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective.'
IU held off Illinois by four shots for its fourth title this season. Indiana's four victories are the second most victories in a season in the program's history and the most titles in a season since the 1974-75 team captured four championships.
Overton's individual title is his fifth of the season and his career and his first this spring. Entering the final round two shots out of the lead, the junior fired the lowest round of any golfer in the field to give him a 54-hole, 6-under-par total of 210 (73-70-67).
'Jeff just continues to show he is the dominant player in the Big Ten and one of the premier players in the country,' said Mayer. 'Shooting a 67 in these conditions is unbelievable. Jeff's round was the difference for our team.'
The winner of the last three Big Ten Golfer of the Week awards, Overton scored his second-best three-round total and matched his low 18-hole score (second time) of the spring. He has scored in the 60s 15 times this season and has a 70.06 scoring average.
Heath Peters finished in the top 10 for the third straight week and the fourth time in his last five tournaments after an eighth-place showing. The junior from Garrett, Ind., fired a final round 75 to finish at 4-over-par 220.
With his finish, Peters now has six top 10 finishes this season and 14 top 10's in his career.
In his best showing of the season, freshman David Butwell tied for 15th with 224 (72-74-78). The Southampton, England, native provided the Hoosiers with a lift in the third position en route to netting his second lowest total of the season (220-Hoosier Invitational, Sept. 27-28). Butwell's finish is his second top 20 finish of the season (19th at Hoosier Invitational).
'David is maturing and getting better and better. His performance really helped this team. To finish 15th in this field is just outstanding,' said Mayer.
Joining the top three Hoosiers, sophomore Scott Seibert tied for 31st with 228 (72-78-78) and junior Mike Birkenfeld tied for 49th at 232 (72-83-77).
In addition to its four titles, IU has recorded nine top 5 finishes and seven top 3 finishes on the season. The Hoosiers look to add to those totals when they head to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Big Ten Championships on Saturday-Sunday, May 8-9 at the University of Michigan Golf Course. The teams will play 36 holes on Saturday and 18 on Sunday.
Indiana finished second at the Northern Intercollegiate, which is referred to as the Big Ten preview, in its first tournament of the season at the U-M Golf Course on Sept. 20-21.
1) INDIANA 880 (288-295-297)
2) Illinois 884 (293-295-296)
3) Minnesota 887 (289-300-298)
4) Toledo 890 (291-295-304)
5) Michigan State 893 (293-301-299)
6) Iowa 896 (302-301-293)
7) Ohio State 901 (309-293-299)
8) Eastern Kentucky 904 (300-303-301)
9) Wisconsin 906 (307-301-298)
10) Northwestern 911 (307-300-304)
11) Michigan 913 (305-304-304)
12) Louisville 922 (306-310-306)
13) Eastern Michigan 927 (311-310-306)
14) Notre Dame 945 (319-321-305)