WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Purdue Men’s Golf team is coming off its best finish at the Big Ten Championship in seven years.
The Boilermakers actually led the tournament through 45 holes before falling back and finishing in fifth place. A fifth place finish this weekend in the NCAA Central Regional would advance them to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2005.
First year head coach Rob Bradley says his team is well-equipped to compete for a Regional title.
“We’ve seen a lot of good teams,” Bradley said. “We’ve seen the best teams in the country this year in regular season play. For me as a coach, I’d like for us to go up there and compete to win the region and hopefully top five will take care of itself.”
Senior All-Big Ten performer Adam Schenk is one of the few Boilermakers experienced in NCAA regional play.
“It’s awesome,” Schenk said. “I went last year as an individual. Our team didn’t quite make it, so it’ll be nice having our team there this year. Like coach said, our goals were to win the Big Tens. We didn’t do that. But I mean, if we can compete for a regional, the top five will take care of itself.”
Schenk won’t be able to get the Boilermakers a top five finish by himself. He’s joined by another All-Big Ten performer, freshman Austin Eoff. Schenk and Eoff are separated by almost three years in age, but it hasn’t stopped the pair from becoming friends.
“It’s been kind of fun this year,” Eoff said. “It’s been kind of like a brother relationship I guess. We both bicker back and forth with each other.”
“We’re usually roommates,” Schenk said.”I always tease him, because I’m the only one that can put up with him. So, that’s why Coach puts me with him.”
“I don’t know. I think he acts a little bit younger than his real age,” Eoff responded.
Despite their laid back relationship off the course, Purdue’s top two golfers are always competing on it.
“I feed off of him, and he feeds off me a little bit,” Schenk said. “So, hopefully we can both play well at regionals and carry the team to nationals.”
“It’s just a matter of putting it all together, for this one tournament,” Eoff said. “It’s either play well, or go home.”
The Boilermakers head into Thursday’s Central Regional at Rich Harvest Farms as the eighth seed out of 14 teams. Out of those 14 teams six are in the top 30 in the country.
Like they’ve done all year, coach Bradley thinks his guys can compete at the top of the college game.
“We had a solid year and have qualified for regionals. I think it’s rewarding, but also I think that they’re looking forward to going up and proving how good of a team we really have,” said Bradley.
Purdue tees off on the first hole Thursday morning at 9:55 p.m. EST.