JON’S TAKE: The Iowa golf program is in great hanks under Mark Hankins. He’s done an excellent job guiding them to NCAA tournaments in recent years and the program now has a state of the art practice facility where players can hone their skills year round, regardless of the temps. This should be a very big year for the Hawkeyes and they are off to a great start, as evidenced below
The University of Iowa men’s golf team ran away with the team title at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational on Sunday, shooting team scores of 286(-2), 282(-6), 285(-3) for a 853(-11) total, topping second place finisher Iowa State (+4) by 15 strokes. The victory is Iowa’s fourth in the last five versions of the event held at Finkbine Golf Course.
The Hawkeyes led throughout the entire tournament and tied the seventh-best 54-hole score (853) in program history.
All eight members of the team participated in the event, and three Hawkeyes finished in the top five of the individual standings.
Senior Steven Ihm captured his second consecutive Hawkeye-GRE Invitational title on Sunday with a seven-under-par 209 (69, 71, 69) for the third tournament victory of his Hawkeye career. Ihm began the day in third place, before earning the title with a final round 69 (-3).
Ihm played the final round bogey-free while adding three birdies to tie for the low round of the day.
“It meant a lot to play well for all three rounds and get the win in back-to-back years,” said Ihm. “I was proud of the guys today for sticking it out. We’ll take this into next week where we’ll play another good golf course.”
Junior Brian Bullington and freshman Carson Schaake tied for fourth with a one-under score of 215. Bullington (72, 72, 71) carded 13 birdies over the course of the tournament, while Schaake (72, 71, 72) posted the best finish and 54-hole score of his career.
“Both Carson and Brian played well all weekend,” said UI head coach Mark Hankins. “For both of them to earn top-five finishes is well deserved.”
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Freshman Raymond Knoll finished 15th for the best finish of his career after carding a four-over 220 total (73, 68, 79). Knoll’s second round score of 68 (-4) was the best round of his career.
Junior Ian Vandersee tied for 34th place with a 10-over 226 total (79, 74, 73). Vandersee moved up 11 spots after beginning Sunday in 45th.
Senior Ryan Marks and sophomores Voramate Aussarassakorn and Nate Yankovich competed as individuals in the event.
Marks posted a one-over 217 (71, 72, 74), finishing in a tie for 10th, the best individual finish of his career.
Aussarassakorn carded a career-best six-over 222 (70, 71, 81) to finish in a tie for 22nd,, tying for the best finish of his career.
Yankovich posted a seven-over 223 (71, 77, 75) to tie for 24th, his best finish of the season.
Head coach Mark Hankins earned his 10th tournament title while at the helm of the Hawkeye program.
“It was a great day to compete. We outlasted the field this week and stayed tough in the face of rough weather,” said Hankins. “Our depth showed this weekend with each of the guys contributing at key times.
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“Steven had three great rounds and played great down the stretch. A bogey-free round today put a lot of pressure on the rest of the field on a tough scoring day. It’s a great win.”
The Hawkeyes return to action on April 19-20 in West Lafayette, Ind., where they will look to defend their 2013 Boilermaker Invitational title.
So far this spring, Iowa has recorded top finishes in all four of its events. The Hawkeyes earned fourth at the Big Ten Match Play Championships, won the Big Four Championship, finished runner-up at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational and won their lone home event, the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational.
1. STEVEN IHM – IOWA – 209 (-7)
2. Scott Fernandez – Iowa State – 211 (-5)
3. Jose Mendez – Minnesota – 213 (-3)
T4. BRIAN BULLINGTON – IOWA – 215 (-1)
T4. CARSON SCHAAKE – IOWA – 215 (-1)
1. IOWA – 853 (-11)
2. Iowa State – 868 (+4)
3. Minnesota – 870 (+6)
4. Kansas – 872 (+8)
5. Marquette – 892 (+28)
6. Nebraska – 895 (+31)
7. Denver – 897 (+33)
8. Washington State – 898 (+34)
T9. Michigan State – 899 (+35)
T9. Wisconsin – 899 (+35)
11. DePaul – 912 (+48)
12. Northern Illinois – 918 (+54)