UI head coach Mark Hankins

(on second place finish at last event, playing on home course this weekend)

“Feels like a lifetime ago. It was two and a half weeks ago, totally different conditions, and it has been nice to get some practice in here at Finkbine. This is a nice 12-team field and we have eight good players with a lot of depth. I’m honestly not sure how it’s going to go individually, but hopefully our overall team depth and our experience on this golf course will help us finish toward the top.”

(on upperclassmen helping freshmen get acclimated)
“We have been talking to them a lot and it is important to understand what the problems are at Finkbine. Obviously these freshmen went through a fall and had to qualify; we had qualifying last weekend to see who is going to be playing for us, so there’s a lot of competition within our squad. At the end of the day, all eight guys are going to go out individually and try to attain some personal goals. If they do, we’ll be in great shape team-wise.”

(on having two weeks to get prepared and build the lineup)

“We have four really solid players from two weeks ago at Arizona State, so those guys carried over, but especially those guys that stayed at home and didn’t go on the Arizona State trip qualified. We all played a big weekend last weekend to kind of resemble what we’re doing this week. We had a 36-hole day and an 18-hole day and the golf course has continually gotten into better shape. It’s playing really fast right and the wind is up, so even par can score right now. The upperclassmen realize that and the freshmen will see that once they get out there. Hopefully the distractions that come along with a tournament are something that they can manage and try to treat it like any other tournament. You have to go out there and play your individual game.”

(on course opening earlier than last year, how has it helped?)

“It’s not by chance. We schedule and think about our schedule and re-schedule and do all these things so coming back from Arizona there was a chance that we may or may not be able to get out real early. Fortunately, the Finkbine staff got the golf course ready for the golf team and we are acclimated with the golf course. The other teams have to come in tonight and tomorrow and try to get ready for this thing in one day so hopefully we are used to the green speeds and the golf course and that will bode well for us, at least individually. You can never tell team-wise, so if each one can go battle for a top-10 position then we’ll be right at the top.”

Senior Steven Ihm

(on his success in this event in the past)

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“I’ve been preparing like any other tournament; trying to hit some balls this week and really working on the speed of the greens. It has been nice that Finkbine opened last week so we were able to get out on the course and do some qualifying this weekend. I’m looking forward to it; it should be a fun event.”

(on helping freshmen transition into this weekend)

“They have really helped themselves honestly. They have put in the time and they showed in qualifying that they could play with us, so all of it goes to them pretty much. They have been working on their game and they believe they can play.”

(on utilizing the new UI indoor facilities this year)

“It’s awesome. We have Trackman back there which is top-of-the-line and swing analysis and V-1 for videos so it’s been great this winter being able to go out there whenever we want really. We have done a good job coming out to the facility and preparing all season long.”

(on playing at Finkbine, Iowa’s home course)

“The course is in great shape. The greens are a little firm and it has been windy the last couple of days, but that is the way Finkbine plays sometimes. It is a big advantage for us knowing where some of the pins may be ahead of time because they have been there in years past. We have the experience of the course and knowledge that will help us throughout the tournament.”

Junior Ian Vandersee

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(on expectations as a team for home event)

“Every week we try to come out and play our best and usually it’s a goal to make top two or three. At a home event we would like to finish first, but finishing in the top one or two this week would be a good finish for us. There are some good teams coming this week.”

(on the schedule)

“It is nice having a couple tournaments in a row and then having some time off because you prepare for those tournaments, do the best you can and then you can learn what went well and what didn’t go well. For me, the last couple weeks have been getting the swing down consistently and putting and chipping a lot.”

(on playing at Finkbine)

“This is my fourth year (playing at Finkbine) so I have fairly extensive knowledge. We play it all the time and that is huge, but you still have to execute the shot. We have a better idea of where to hit them and where not to hit them and whether you execute is what brings the rest of the field into play as well.”