Iowa Travels To Golden Gopher Invite

Sept. 8, 2009

THIS WEEK The University of Iowa men’s golf team will travel to Wayzata, MN for the fifth annual Golden Gopher Invitational, Sept. 13-14. The first and second rounds will be played consecutively on Sunday, beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. (CT). Tee times for Monday’s final round will also begin at 8 a.m. Competition will be held at Spring Hill Golf Club.

SPRING HILL Spring Hill Course at Spring Hill Golf Club was voted one of the top five courses in Minnesota in 2006. The par 72, 7,020 yard (bent grass) layout was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1999. Spring Hill is one of three courses on Iowa’s fall schedule which the Hawkeyes are familiar with from the 2008-09 campaign.

THE COMPETITION This week’s field features 11 other teams, representing 10 different conferences, and includes Arkansas, Lamar, Miami (Ohio), Northern Iowa, Notre Dame, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Southern Methodist, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

IOWA IN TOP 20 Iowa advanced to the NCAA Regionals a year ago, placing fifth at the regional to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1995. The Hawkeyes continued to play well at the championship meet, earning a 17th place finish with just one senior in the line-up. Additionally, the Hawkeyes kicked off their fall season, Aug. 30, with a second place finish in the 15-team Golfweek Conference Challenge.

HEAD COACH Mark Hankins Hankins is in his third year as Iowa’s head men’s golf coach after spending seven years as the head coach at Michigan State University. Under Hankins, the Black and Gold won their first tournament title (2008 Landfall Tradition) since 2004 and placed sixth in the 2009 Big Ten Championships, their best finish in eight years. Iowa made its first NCAA Regionals and NCAA Championships appearance since 1995. The Hawkeyes advanced through regional play a year ago and placed 17th in the nation at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, the Hawkeyes have improved their Golfweek ranking from 155th to 54th with Hankins at the helm. He is a native of Mt. Pleasant, IA, and a graduate of Iowa State.

QUOTING COACH Mark Hankins “The Golden Gopher Invitational has some pretty highly ranked teams. We played pretty well there last year and had a great chance to win, but finished fourth. With a familiar tournament such as this, it helps us to know what to expect from a course and how to prepare. When we get there, we already have some insight to how some of the holes play and what to expect.”

LOOKING AHEAD The Hawkeyes will travel to the VCU Shootout in Richmond, VA, Sept. 28-29. Last year, Iowa finished seventh out of 15 teams after carding a three round team score of 853 (+1).