Boilers aim for Big Ten crown in French Lick

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – The Purdue men’s golf team will shoot for its first Big Ten crown in over 30 years this weekend as action gets underway Friday at the 7,152-yard, par-72 Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.

The tournament will consist of 36 holes off tees 1 and 10 on Friday and 18 holes on both Saturday and Sunday. The pairings will be twosomes, with Purdue tee times ranging from 8:40 AM (ET) to 9:12 AM (ET) off hole No. 1 on Friday. Saturday’s tee times start at 9 AM, while Sunday’s will begin at 8 AM.

Purdue enters the tournament ranked 43rd nationally by Golfstat.com, and third in the Big Ten behind Illinois (9th) and Iowa (35th). Northwestern is ranked 50th and Ohio State is 63rd to round out the top-five ranked teams in the conference.

In head-to-head action, Purdue is 12-8-3 against Big Ten opposition having faced 10 of the 11 other teams. The Boilers have not seen Nebraska yet in a tournament.

Individually, senior Adam Schenk enters as the third-highest ranked individual at 51st. Illinois’ Thomas Detri (41st) and Brian Campbell (42nd) are the lone competitors ahead of Schenk.

The teams are trying to unseat Illinois, which has won five straight Big Ten titles, including the last two at the Pete Dye Course. The Illini shot 1,163 (+11) a year ago and 1,175 (+23) two years ago on the course to win the titles. Purdue finished seventh in 2013 (1,203; +51) and fifth in 2012 (1,202; +50).

Purdue has won 12 team titles, tied for the second most in the league with Illinois and Michigan, but hasn’t won the team championship since 1981.

Just two players on Purdue’s five-man traveling roster have competed in the Big Ten Championship. Senior Adam Schenk finished fifth a year ago, eighth in 2012 and 10th in 2011, while Enzo Perez was 17th a year ago.

Schenk leads the Boilers this year with a 71.66 scoring average and 17 of his 29 rounds have been at or under par this year. He had finished in the top 16 in six straight tournaments, before stumbling in the Boilermaker Invitational two weeks ago. However, he is looking to record four straight top-10 finishes at the Big Ten Championships this weekend.

Freshman Austin Eoff follows with a 72.52 stroke average and five top-20 finishes in 10 events. He has recorded 15 rounds of even-par or better. His best finish of the spring season is a T-17th performance at the Augusta Invitational on April 5-6.

Sophomore Stuart Macdonald has been a pleasant surprise of late, forcing his way into the lineup and playing well while there. He has competed in just four tournaments this year, two on the counting team, and averages 73.00 strokes per 18 holes. He finished tied for fourth in the Boilermaker Invitational two weeks ago after leading after 36 holes and has placed in the top 30 in five of his seven career tournaments.

Perez averages 73.93 strokes per round and has two top-20 finishes under his belt this spring, coming at the USF Invitational on March 2-4 (T-16th) and at the Augusta Invitational on April 5-6 (T-20th).

Philippe Schweizer rounds out the roster with a 74.03 scoring average and one top-20 finish to date. He finished ninth at the Bridgestone Collegiate on Oct. 26-27 and owns four top-30 placings.

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