The University of Iowa men’s golf team captured third place for the second-consecutive year at the Big Ten Championships at the Pete Dye Course on Sunday. The Hawkeyes carded a four-under-par 284, the lowest 18-hole score of the tournament, in their final round to move from sixth place to third. Iowa moved up the board significantly after standing in a tie for ninth after the first round.
Minnesota captured the team title with a 72-hole score of 1,186 (+34). Iowa posted a four-round total of 1,194 (+42), finishing eight strokes back. Illinois finished second (1190, +38).
“We did not play well enough during the first round, but our last three rounds were awesome,” said UI head coach Mark Hankins. “The guys are playing well, and this will be a great practice as we move forward.”
The Hawkeyes were again led by senior Steven Ihm, who finished in fifth despite standing in a tie for 38th after the first round. Ihm carded a career-best seven-over 295 (78, 71, 76, 70) in 72 holes on his way to all-tournament honors. Ihm’s final round of 70 (-2) was tied for the second lowest of the day. The Peosta, Iowa native earned medalist honors in the two events prior to the Big Ten Championships.
“We got off to a rough start, but the guys grinded,” said Ihm. “We ended up with a solid round today and climbed the leaderboard. We need to keep building every week.”
Junior Ian Vandersee finished in a tie for seventh after posting an 11-over 299 (78, 74, 76, 71). The 72-hole score is the best of Vandersee’s career.
“Today’s final round was completely different from the first couple of days,” said Vandersee. “There was minimal wind and the pins were accessible. Anything under par out here is a really good number because it is such a tough course.”
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Freshman Raymond Knoll tied for 12th, posting a 12-over 300 (78, 74, 75, 73) in his first career 72-hole tournament.
“I feel good about our team finish,” said Knoll. “I am confident with my game right now; this was a great experience playing such a difficult course.”
Freshman Carson Schaake fired a 15-over 303 (75, 77, 80, 71) over the three days of the tournament to tie for 20th. Schaake’s final round of 71 (-1) tied the best 18-hole total of his career.
Junior Brian Bullington posted a 19-over 307 (76, 79, 80, 72) to tie for 39th. Bullington birdied five holes in his final round.
Iowa has recorded top finishes in its last four events. The Hawkeyes were runner-up at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational before winning the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational and Boilermaker Invitational.
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“Our guys have confidence in each other and I have confidence in them,” said Hankins. “Each one of these guys has contributed over the last few weeks, and we have had two wins and a third-place finish in a tough field. We feel good about this, and we cannot get complacent. We have to continue to prepare for NCAA Regionals.”
The Hawkeyes will learn their NCAA Regional destination Monday at 10-11 a.m. (CT) on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. The selection show can also be viewed via live stream on Golf Channel’s website via Golf Live Extra.
1. Minnesota – 1,186 (+34)
2. Illinois – 1,190 (+38)
3. IOWA – 1,194 (+42)
4. Northwestern – 1,204 (+52)
5. Purdue – 1,205 (+53)
6. Ohio State – 1,206 (+54)
7. Michigan State – 1,212 (+60)
8. Indiana – 1,215 (+63)
9. Penn State – 1,221 (+69)
10. Wisconsin – 1,222 (+70)
11. Nebraska – 1,224 (+72)
12. Michigan – 1,226