Led by an even par round of 72 by senior Steven Ihm, the University of Iowa men’s golf team shot a six-over-par 294 in the second round of the NCAA Columbia Regional on Friday. The Hawkeyes are tied for eighth place after 36 holes (291, 294 = 585). The final 18 holes will be played Saturday.
Arkansas shot an 18-under par 270 to move into a tie with Oklahoma State for the team lead after 36 holes (559). The leaders are followed by Missouri (561), LSU (575), Arizona State (576), Iowa State (579) and San Diego State (582). The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships.
“We managed the backside well, which was our front nine,” said UI head coach Mark Hankins. “Then we made some big numbers; a couple doubles here and there gets us to six over. We were hanging around even for most of the day, and it is disappointing to finish where we are, but we have to put it behind us and go out and play a good round tomorrow.
Along with the 72 from Ihm, Iowa’s second round scores included one-over par 73 for junior Ian Vandersee and freshman Raymond Knoll and four-over par 76 for junior Brian Bullington and freshman Carson Schaake. As a team, the Hawkeyes were two-under-par through nine holes before posting a seven-over-par score on the second nine.
Ihm started his day with a birdie on the par five 10th and moved back to even with a bogey on 13. He collected birdies on 16 and 17 for a score of 34 after nine holes. He moved to three under with a birdie on the first hole but was back at even following a double bogey on three and a bogey on four. He played his final five holes at even par and is two over par (146) after two rounds.
“Today’s round was up-and-down,” said Ihm. “I had it going early, and had a few tough holes in the middle. Overall, I have been playing pretty well the first two days; the scores just have not been producing. I need to eliminate big numbers tomorrow. If I can get rid of those, I can shoot under par.”
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Vandersee recorded five birdies in his round, but also suffered three double bogies. He was four over through five holes before making birdie putts on 15, 16 and 17. Vandersee added birdies on the second and fifth holes before an errant tee shot on his final hole resulted in a double bogey. His 36-hole total stands at 153.
“I played very well, like yesterday, for 15-of-the-18 holes,” said Vandersee. “I had a couple of poor tee shots, and it cost me. I had three doubles today, but offset that with five birdies. There are a lot of positives heading into tomorrow. We are good enough that if we all play our games tomorrow, we will shoot a good number. We have to go out, relax, and let it happen.
Knoll shot even par on his opening nine, collecting one bogey and a birdie. He also took bogey on the second hole before ending his day with seven straight pars. Knoll is one over par (145) through two rounds.
Knoll began his day with a birdie on the par five 10th. He added birdies on 15 and 17 and was one under at the turn with bogies on 11 and 16. He shot one over par on his second nine, just missing birdie putts on his final two holes of the day.
Bullington recovered from a bogey on his first hole to shoot 36 on his first nine, thanks to a birdie on his ninth hole of the day. He ended his day with a birdie on the par five ninth hole, shooting a four-over 40 after three bogies and a double bogey. He has a five-over-par score of 149 after 36 holes.
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Schaake also recorded a 76 Friday and holds a 36-hole total of 148. His second round included two birdies and two bogies on the first nine for an even par 36. He also had three bogies and a double bogey on his second nine of the day before ending the round with a birdie on his final hole.
Iowa trails fifth-place Arizona State by nine strokes heading into Saturday’s final round. The Hawkeyes will begin play from the 10th tee at 8 a.m. Saturday, along with Virginia and San Diego State.
“The guys battled, but we need to minimize our mistakes and stay patient,” said Hankins. “All of our guys were playing well at times and there are some low individual numbers out there, so we will continue to play with the same game plan and be determined to stay in the present throughout the entire round.”