Aug. 26, 2009
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RIVERSIDE, IA – The University of Iowa men’s golf team was featured, along with Riverside Casino and Resort, Wednesday as a media day was held to kick-off Golfweek’s inaugural 2009 Collegiate Conference Challenge. Iowa Head Coach Mark Hankins spoke, along with Blue Top Ridge club professional Bryan Haas, and fielded questions on the course, the tournament, and Iowa men’s golf.
“Our ultimate goal is to make Blue Top Ridge a course that can be looked at to host a major tournament, like a U.S. Open or a PGA Championship,” said Haas. “With top teams from all over the nation, this is a tournament that will boost us to that next level, and we are very excited to have that array of competition coming in.”
With over 7,500 yards of play from the back tees, Blue Top Ridge offers a world class golf experience with over 85 bunkers and several lakes and rivers along the way. This will be the first collegiate competition played on the Rees Jones designed course.
“This is a very tough course and I’m curious to see what it will take to win the tournament,” said Hankins. “I think a lot of people will be surprised.”
The Collegiate Conference Challenge will be an opportunity for many questions to be answered about Iowa men’s golf. After one of the best seasons the Hawkeyes have seen in over a decade, the Black and Gold have lost just two seniors to graduation. After advancing through regional play and finishing 17th in the nation at the NCAA Championships this spring, many are anxious to see what this team can do.
“We’re the kind of team that doesn’t have one standout, but an entire group of guys that have potential to put five solid scores together,” said Hankins. “That’s the kind of team you need to have to be successful, so I’m excited to see what we can do.”
The 54-hole tournament will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 1, with 18 holes of play each of the three days.
“We’re excited to be out here,” said Hankins. “It’s a course that we’re familiar with and you can expect three great days of competition.”