WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue men's golf team begins its stretch run this weekend at the 15-team 3M Augusta Invitational, being held Saturday and Sunday at the par-72, 7,028-yard Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
Action begins Saturday morning with 36 holes and will wrap up
Sunday with the final 18 holes. This is the second-to-last scheduled
event of the season for the Boilermakers before the Big Ten
Championships on May 2-4. The Boilermakers will host the Boilermaker
Invitational on April 19-20.
The 42nd-ranked Boilermakers are part of an elite field that
features 12 teams ranked in in the nation's top 46 as well as the No.
3-ranked Division II squad, USC-Aiken. The field consists of UCF (#7),
Houston (#8), Illinois (#9), Virginia (#10), defending champion Texas
(#19), New Mexico (#22), South Carolina (#23), Baylor (#27), Clemson
(#28), Purdue (#42), Tennessee (#43), TCU (#46), Augusta State (#66) and
Coastal Carolina (#95).
Purdue is 2-3-1 against teams in the field, falling to Baylor and
New Mexico at the Lone Star Invitational and to Clemson at the USF
Invitational, while defeating TCU and Coastal Carolina and tying
Individually, 12 of the nation's top-52 ranked players, and 19 of the top 100, will be competing in the field.
Leading the Boilermakers is senior Adam Schenk,
who is ranked 25th nationally and has moved into 17th in the
most-recent Palmer Cup standings. Schenk has recorded 10 straight rounds
at or under par and has finished tied for third, tied for second and
tied for eighth in his last three events while totaling 29-under par
combined in the three events. Schenk has five top-10 finishes this year
and owns an average of 71.09 strokes per 18 holes.
Freshman Austin Eoff
also continues to play well, following Schenk with a 72.35 stroke
average. Eoff owns three top-10 finishes this year and after an early
slump this spring, placed 26th at the Lone Star Invitational, his best
placing of the spring season.
Sophomore Stuart Macdonald
gets his first shot in the lineup this year after competing in a pair
of tournaments as an individual. In six rounds this year, Macdonald is
averaging 73.50 strokes per round and has finished tied for 27th and
tied for 30th this year as an individual at the Windon Memorial in
September and the Lone Star Invite two weeks ago.
Freshman Philippe Schweizer (73.70 average in 23 rounds) and junior Enzo Perez
(73.74 average in 23 rounds) will round out the Boilermaker lineup.
Schweizer placed 29th at the Lone Star Invite and has a top-10 finish
under his belt at the Bridgestone Collegiate in late October, while
Perez has been on fire as of late, finishing tied for 16th in the USF
Invitational and tied for 24th at the Lone Star Invite.
On Friday, the team battled Ivy League standout Dartmouth to a thrilling 5-3 victory. The Boilermaker offense, led by freshman Maddy Williams with two scores on the weekend, was able to put up five goals against a Big Green side that only allowed 13 all of last season.
“I think our offense is really starting to click. Right from the start, me and Hadley [Stuart] really meshed right away ... So I think our whole offense is starting to get there which I think will be really good going down the line,” said Wiliams.
Despite his side’s strong offensive showing, head coach Robert Klatte says that defensive lapses and small miscues have forced the team’s offense to score in order to get results.
“We’ve gotta shore up at the back. Because if we give up two goals a game weekly, you just put so much pressure on your offense,” said Klatte. “In the past, it’s been pressure on our defense; ‘Gotta pitch a shutout because it’s tough for us to score goals.’ Well, now we’re scoring goals. We just need to get a little tighter at the back.”
Those issues plagued Purdue again Sunday afternoon when the team was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against the Seattle Redhawks. Purdue once again dominated offensively, but allowed two goals on only four shots on goal.
Williams again opened scoring for the Boilers with a goal just three minutes into the match, becoming the first Purdue player to score six goals in six games since 2009. Junior Alex Hairston would also score during the period, but defensive miscues cost the team two scores before the halftime mark.
No goals were scored during the final 70 minutes of the game, but both teams threatened several times during the match. Freshman Jordan Ginther’s diving save in the 72nd minute helped the Boilers hold on and reach extra time.
Williams said that the offense trickled off in the second half and was unable to find the winning goal.
“It was frustrating. Our intensity went down when it should have gone up. We did get fewer chances, which was frustrating, but we just need to take advantage of them,” said Williams. “We’ve been in this kind of Sunday slump, I guess. Just Sundays in general are really hard — you’re fatigued; you’re tired. You feel dead.”
The Boilers next match will be at 7 p.m. on Friday against IPFW at the Boilermaker soccer complex.