The men’s golf team’s streak of missing out on the NCAA national championships was finally broken and the team is determined to excel.
The team has not made it this far into post-season play since 2005. Fortunately for the Boilermakers, they were able to make an impressive comeback at the Sugar Grove, Ill. regional last weekend to extend their season.
“We played really well toward the end of the tournament,” first year head coach Rob Bradley said. “All five guys on our team are playing well so being able to have a fresh start at NCAA’s and go compete for a national championship is going to be great.”
Bradley is no stranger to NCAA success. He served as an assistant in his three years at the University of North Florida, where the team went to the NCAA national championships twice. Last year, as an assistant at Alabama, Bradley aided the Crimson Tide in their winning of the national title.
“He ended up winning the national championship so I’m sure he’ll give us some good advice before we tee-off and how we should handle being nervous and that will help,” senior golfer Adam Schenk said.
Schenk is entering the final tournament of his career as a Boilermaker. He placed in the top ten at NCAA regionals last week at Sugar Grove, his second straight year doing so. However, Schenk is not nervous going into his last tournament.
“The mindset I have is that you might as well be relaxed,” Schenk said. “Putting pressure on yourself, I don’t believe helps you very much, it only probably hurts you. I’m just going to go out there and relax. I know I prepared well so I’m ready.”
This will be Schenk’s first and only NCAA championships. It’s not just important to him that he plays well, but his teammates want to play well for Schenk as well.
“I think it’s pretty big for him,” freshman golfer Austin Eoff said. “He definitely wanted to make it and he hadn’t made it yet. He’s made it to regionals as an individual, but he’s never gotten to nationals. I think it’s huge for us to be able to play well and get him there.”
The team as a whole appears very relaxed going into their final tournament of season. Seeded 28th out of 30 teams who qualified for the championships, the Boilermakers are approaching this weekend with a “nothing to lose” mentality.
“To me, it’s all bonus right now,” junior golfer Enzo Perez said. “I think we did the job and now we’re just going to compete and play with nothing to lose.”
Purdue begins team stroke play at 8:40 a.m. on Friday along with Georgia State and Iowa State.