EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Battling wet and windy conditions, the Indiana men's golf team holds a three-shot lead over Toledo heading into the final round of the Bruce Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational. In a tournament featuring 14 teams and nine Big Ten teams, the Hoosiers led the way with a two-round total of 583 (288-295).
'I couldn't be any happier with our morning round,' said Indiana head coach Mike Mayer. 'We played pretty solid, error-free golf. It is nice for the other four guys in the lineup to know they can perform that well without Jeff Overton shooting low. It was a statement by the team, and they take pride in that. We had a chance to play a little better in the second round, but the conditions were much more difficult.'
Overton, Heath Peters and David Butwell find themselves in the top 10 after 36 holes. Overton, coming off three straight top 5 performances, is in second place, two shots behind Tyler Riley of Toledo. The junior opened with a 73 and followed with a 2-under par 70 in Rd. 2.
The winner of three consecutive Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors, Overton will try to capture his fifth individual title of the season and his first of the spring on Sunday.
Peters is tied for third place, four shots behind Riley. The Garrett, Ind., product carded an even-par 72 in the first round and a 73 on the second 18. Peters has positioned himself to make a run at his second career title and has an opportunity to finish in the top 10 for the third straight week.
'Jeff and Heath proved once again they are a strong one-two punch,' said Mayer. 'I would put them up against any one in the country. I can't say enough about these two juniors. They have done a great job for us all season.'
Heath Peters sits in a tie for third place, four shots back, after 36 holes in East Lansing, Mich.
Butwell opened with a 72 in round one and posted a 74 in the second round. The freshman's 146 total is good for a seventh-place tie, five shots out of the lead. Butwell's 72 matches his low round of the season (fourth time) and his 146 ties his low 36-hole score of the year (Hoosier Invitational, Sept. 27-28). The Southhampton, England, native's best finish was a tie for 19th at the Hoosier Invitational.
'David gets better and better each week he's in the lineup,' said Mayer. 'He looked and felt comfortable all day. He is proving to everyone he belongs out here. It is big for this team to have this kind of performance from David.'
In addition to the three Hoosiers in the top 10, Scott Seibert continued his consistent play. The sophomore fired a 150 (72-78), sitting in a tie for 20th place. Seibert has an opportunity for his second consecutive and third overall top 25 finish this season.
Rounding out the lineup, junior Mike Birkenfeld ended the day at 155. The Evansville, Ind., native shot a 72 in the opening round before a second round 83.
'Overall, I'm pleased with where we stand. We have been in position to win a lot this season. We know how to win and now we just have to go out and finish the job,' said Mayer.
IU looks for its fourth title of the season and first of the spring in the final round of the Invitational on Sunday at the Forest Akers West Golf Course.
1) INDIANA 583 (288-295)
2) Toledo 586 (291-295)
3) Illinois 588 (293-295)
4) Minnesota 589 (289-300)
5) Michigan State 594 (293-301)
6) Ohio State 602 (309-293)
T7) Iowa 603 (302-301)
T7) Eastern Kentucky 603 (300-303)
9) Northwestern 607 (307-300)
10) Wisconsin 608 (307-301)
11) Michigan 609 (305-304)
12) Louisville 616 (306-310)
13) Eastern Michigan 621 (311-310)
14) Notre Dame 640 (319-321)