Aug. 31, 2009
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 season)
RIVERSIDE, IA – The University of Iowa men’s golf team holds a four stroke lead after two rounds at Golfweek’s Conference Challenge, thanks to Brad Hopfinger’s stellar second round which set the competitive course record at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside, IA. The junior fired an impressive 67 (-5) to beat the previous record set by his teammate, junior Vince India, at the Iowa Open last week. The Hawkeyes finished the round eight under par with a score of 280.
“Vince told me congratulations, but we were all joking with him that we we’re gunning for his record,” said Hopfinger. “I played well today, made a lot of birdies and did a better job of not making as many mistakes.”
Hopfinger’s 14 birdies for the tournament leads all golfers in the 15 team field, but his teammates are backing him up as every Iowa golfer finished today’s round at even par or better. Hopfinger has a two stroke lead over the field after carding a 36-hole total of 137 (-7). Not far behind him is Barrett Kelpin. The sophomore fired even par today and is sitting in a tie for eighth with a score of 141 (-3).
India also improved on yesterday’s score of 73 (+1). He shot a 71 (-1) with three birdies and an eagle on the day to put himself in a tie for 13th. Sophomore Chris Brant has recorded six birdies this tournament and is tied for 33rd with a score of 148 (+4). Additionally, Ryan Marks is currently tied for 40th. The freshman found his comfort zone in Monday’s round and dropped nine strokes from Sunday, to bring in a two round total of 149 (+5).
After two rounds, the Hawkeyes have recorded 20 birdies to their 12 bogies. Head Coach Mark Hankins commented on the consistency of his squad and the focus they will need for a strong finish.
“I think having five guys at even par or better is a testament to our team depth,” said Hankins. “It was nice to see continued focus and finish strong today, but we will need to continue that through the third round to hold our position.”
“We need to stay focused and do the same things we’ve been doing,” added Hopfinger. “As long as we don’t get ahead of ourselves, we will be just fine.”
The tournament’s final 18 rounds will begin with a shotgun start at approximately 9 a.m. tomorrow. Fans can follow the tournament at golfstatresults.com.
1. IOWA 288-280=568 (-8)
2. Florida State 287-285=572 (-4)
3. Baylor 280-295=575 (-1)
4. Coastal Carolina 292-284=576 (E)
5. Vanderbilt 293-285=578 (+2)
6. Middle Tennessee St. 285-294=579 (+3)
7. Xavier 290-291=581 (+5)
8. California 296-288=584 (+8)
9. VCU 299-290=589 (+13)
10. Illinois State 298-294=592 (+16)
11. Texas-Arlington 297-297=594 (+18)
12. Georgia Southern 306-291=597 (+21)
13. New Mexico State 297-301=598 (+22)
14. Memphis 302-299=601 (+25)
15. Southern Florida 310-294=604 (+28)
Individual Results – Par 72 (Top 3 + Iowa)
1. Brad Hopfinger (UI) 70-67=137 (-7)
2. Hudson Johnson (Vanderbilt) 71-68=139 (-5)
Jason Millard (Middle Tenn) 68-71=139 (-5)
Drew Kittleson (Florida St.) 70-69=139 (-5)
T8. Barrett Kelpin (UI) 69-72=141 (-3)
T13. Vince India (UI) 73-71=144 (E)
T33. Chris Brant (UI) 76-72=148 (+4)
T40. Ryan Marks (UI) 79-70=149 (+5)