May 23, 2009
THIS WEEK — The University of Iowa men’s golf team will travel to Toledo, OH, this week to compete in the 2009 NCAA Championships at the Inverness Club. Competition, consisting of both stroke-play and match-play, will be held from Tuesday to Saturday.
INVERNESS CLUB — Built in 1903, Inverness is one of Donald Ross’ most distinguished golf courses and home to eight major championships since 1920. Inverness has hosted four U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships, a U.S. Amateur Championship and a U.S. Senior Open. The original links were refurbished and lengthened to 7,255 yards by Arthur Hills in 1999.
IOWA NCAA HISTORY — This week’s trip marks the sixth NCAA Championship appearance Iowa has had and its first since 1995. The Hawkeyes have also qualified in 1939, 46, 57 and 1960. The Central Florida Regional was also Iowa’s first since 1995, but its 12th overall appearance. The Hawkeyes have competed in regional competitions in 1939, 46, 49, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 95 and now in 2009.
NATIONAL COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will be among 30 teams and six individuals in the nation’s premiere college golf event. Competition will consist of 54 holes of stroke-play with 18 holes each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Individual honors will then be awarded, but only the top eight teams will advance to the match-play competition. Two head-to-head rounds of match-play will be held Friday, followed by the championship match Saturday. This is the first year the NCAA Championships have followed this tournament-style format.
REWRITING THE RECORD BOOKS — Throughout the NCAA Regional tournament, the Hawkeyes broke 14 Iowa records, including eight individual and six team achievements. Among the most impressive, senior Cole Peevler and sophomore Brad Hopfinger both put together 36-hole scores of 136 which bests the old record set in 1993. As a team, the Hawkeyes carded two different 36-hole totals (561 and 554) which beat the 15-year old record of 563. Iowa also crushed the 54-hole record score of 854, set in 2005, when they put together a 837 (-15) to finish fifth at the regional competition.
HEAD COACH Mark Hankins — Hankins is in his second year as Iowa’s head men’s golf coach. He was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, at Michigan State, in 2005 and 2007. He led the Spartans to Big Ten Championships those years. Hankins also led the Spartans to five NCAA tournament appearances in his seven years as head coach. He is a native of Mt. Pleasant, IA, and a graduate of Iowa State.
QUOTING COACH HANKINS — “We have to play the same way we did in Sorrento if we expect to receive the same gratification again at the end. At regionals the guys did a really good job staying focused on what they should have been focused on and that was playing each hole one at a time.”