May 16, 2009
SORRENTO, FL – The University of Iowa men’s golf team capped three solid days of competition at the NCAA Central Florida Regional Saturday, finishing fifth out of 14 teams to qualify for the NCAA Championship Finals for the first time since 1995. With an exceptional final round of 276 (-8), second lowest in school history, the Hawkeyes vaulted UNC Charlotte and the University of Kentucky to capture the fifth and final NCAA berth. Iowa’s 54-hole team total of 837 (-15) is the lowest in school history, besting the previous record of 853 shot at the VCU Shootout last fall. The University of Central Florida won the regional event with a score of 818 (-34).
“Advancing to the NCCA Championship Finals is an amazing accomplishment,” said Head Coach Mark Hankins. “We put together a gutsy, tough performance this week and each guy stayed with the process to the very last hole.”The Hawkeye’s were led with a top ten finish from sophomore Brad Hopfinger. Hopfinger carded a stellar 54-hole total of 207 (-6), the second best in school history. Senior Cole Peevler finished with a brilliant final round of 66 (-5), fourth lowest in school history, to finish tied for 19th with a total of 209 (-4). Freshman Chris Brant shot his third consecutive round of one-under par 70 to finish tied for 23rd with a three day score of 210 (-3). Iowa’s top three individual scores all rank among the top five lowest 54-hole scores in school history. Sophomore Vince India shot an even par final round to finish tied for 40th with a score of 214 (+1). Additionally, freshman Barrett Kelpin shot a 219 (+6) to finish tied for 55th.
Hankins also credited much of Iowa’s success to team depth.
“We had different guys step up each round and that comes from a lot of trust in your teammates,” said Hankins. “Everyone worked at the things they could control and stuck to their own round. I’m happy that when our scores came together, it was good enough for us to advance.”
Additionally, Hopfinger talked about Iowa’s focus throughout the tournament.
“I’m really pleased with how we fought the entire week,” said Hopfinger. “We improved everyday which is what we knew we needed to do. We knew this morning that there was still work left to do to, and that we needed to move up the leader board two spots.”
Thirty teams, including Iowa, as well as six individuals will compete in the NCAA Championships May 26-30, at the Inverness Club in Toledo, OH. Stroke-play competition will consist of 54-holes between Tuesday and Thursday. Individual honors will then be awarded and the top eight teams from stroke-play competition will advance to match-play competition. Two matches will be played Friday, followed by the final match Saturday to crown the national team champion. Inverness has hosted four U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, a U.S. Amateur Championship and a U.S. Senior Open.
1. UCF 268-277-273=818(-34)
2. Georgia 282-275-272=829(-23)
South Carolina 273-287-269=829(-23)
5. IOWA 283-278-276=837(-15)
6. Georgia State 282-280-281=843(-9)
7. Florida State 277-286-281=844(-8)
9. Kentucky 281-279-285=845(-7)
10. Georgia Southern 291-281-275=847(-5)
11. Augusta State 282-293-279=854(+2)
12. Indiana 294-284-277=855(+3)
11. Campbell University 293-281-288=862(+10)
12. Loyola College 284-302-302=888(+36)
Individual Results – Par 71 (Top 3 + Iowa)
1. Tarquin MacManus (Arizona) 63-66-69=198 (-15)
2. Brad Schneider (UCF) 66-71-63=200 (-13)
3. Blayne Barber (UCF) 69-71-62=202 (-11)
T10. Brad Hopfinger (UI) 71-67-69=207 (-6)
T19. Cole Peevler (UI) 73-70-66=209 (-4)
T23. Chris Brant (UI) 70-70-70=210 (-3)
T40. Vince India (UI) 69-74-71=214 (+1)
T55. Barrett Kelpin (UI) 73-71-75=219 (+6)