Beaufort News

Hoosiers hustle off Hilton Head Island with Wexford title in tow

Mike Mayer was glad to talk, as long as it didn't take long.

He and his Indiana golf team hustled through the awards ceremony and pictures Tuesday at Wexford Plantation Club and headed for the team van. The Hoosiers won the sixth annual Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate with the best one-day team total in the event's history, firing an even-par 288 on Tuesday to coast to their first team victory of 2011.

Hoosiers sophomore Brant Peaper claimed the individual title with a 3-under total.

Mayer and his team, making their first appearance in the tournament, faced one of the longest trips home of the teams competing. Time was short after Tuesday's round.

But the Hoosiers accomplished -- in the short time -- the goal Mayer set for the squad. Indiana entered the tournament as the class of the field, and Mayer wanted his team to play like it.

The Hoosiers shot 12 over as a team the second round to trail entering Tuesday. They re-discovered their groove for the final round on a Wexford course widely praised as a tough test.

"It's demanding every shot," Mayer said. "There's no let up out there. And we just didn't finish off (the second round) very well. But we still came into this round with a lot of confidence and a lot of determination."

The Hoosiers entered the tournament No. 27 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and earned votes in the NCAA Division I coaches poll. They finished second at the Big 10 match play tournament in Florida to open the season.

The win Tuesday should provide a good primer for the spring, Mayer said.

Peaper fired rounds of 72-71-70 to earn his first collegiate win. He was one of only two golfers to shoot under par during the final round.

"I just want to improve on this one," he said. "And just go."

Peaper said his secret was hitting fairways and reaching Wexford's greens in as few shots as possible. The analysis might seem dry, but multiple players said the grain of the greens made them difficult to read.

The condition of the greens were fine, they said. Picking a line was the tough part.

"There were times I would read a putt and get it completely wrong," said William & Mary's Zach Glassman, who finished tied for second individually. "They were tricky but true."

Glassman and his Tribe teammates enjoyed a two-shot lead entering the final round. They slipped with a final round 302 and finished 12 shots off the pace.

"Everyone left a few shots out there, for sure," Glassman said. "We knew it was going to be tough. We just tried to grind away."

Indiana entered the field after Mayer heard about the event from university alumni living in the Hilton Head Island area. The Hoosiers had little time to experience the island outside of golf, Mayer said, but they did drive around visiting the beaches.

"That's why we came down here -- obviously to win the tournament, but there's more to it than that," Mayer said. "We wanted to kind of experience Hilton Head, and it was a great trip."

Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate

Feb. 21-22, Wexford Plantation Club

Final round

Team results

Indiana 289-300-288--877

William & Mary 296-291-302--889

Richmond 301-294-297--892

Davidson 300-293-305--898

USC-Aiken 304-304-291--899

Presbyterian 307-303-298--908

Furman 304-297-309--910

Samford 308-305-299--912

Francis Marion 302-297-313--912

Elon 302-309-303--914

Western Carolina 312-305-304--921

DePaul 304-304-314--922

Connecticut 311-312-312--935

Ohio University 304-320-311--935

Top-20 individual

Brant Peaper, Indiana, 72-71-70--213

Zach Glassman, William & Mary, 72-73-75--220

Daniel Walker, Richmond, 74-73-73--220

Jeremy Wells, William & Mary, 75-72-74--221

Chase Wright, Indiana, 73-75-73--221

Sebastian Backlund, Francis Marion, 71-72-78--221

John Somers, Elon, 73-76-73--222

David Erdy, Indiana, 73-78-72--223

Kenneth Svanum, Francis Marion, 75-72-76--223

Sam Echikson, Davidson, 73-72-78--223

John Skeadas, Davidson, 78-70-75--223

Michael Shrader, Richmond, 78-69-76--223

Hayden Letien, USC-Aiken, 74-74-75--223

Brandon Parker, William & Mary, 74-75-75--224

David Mills, Indiana, 71-80-73--224

Corey Ziedonis, Indiana, 74-76-74--224

Sam Beach, Richmond, 76-74-75--225

Mark Dickson, USC-Aiken, 74-79-72--225

Matthew Broome, Furman, 80-73-73--226

Casey O'Toole, Samford, 78-75-73--226

Evan Phillips, Presbyterian, 73-77-76--226

Brad Miller, Richmond, 73-78-75--226

Patrick Leisure, William & Mary, 77-71-78--226