Iowa Prepares For Notre Dame Regional

May 17, 2010

THIS WEEK The University of Iowa men’s golf team will travel to Notre Dame, IN for the 2010 NCAA Notre Dame Regional May 20-22. Play will be contested on Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course. Rounds one and two will be played Thursday and Friday, respectively, beginning at 7 a.m. (CT). The final round will begin Saturday at 6:30 a.m. (CT).

THE COURSE Since its opening in 2000, Warren Golf Course has been hailed as one of the best new courses in America by Golf Digest and has been featured in Links Magazine and Golf Digest as a must-play venue. The par 71, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, runs 7,023 yards from the back tees. Warren has hosted the 2005 NCAA Men’s Regional Golf Championship, three Men’s U.S. Amateur Qualifiers, two Men’s U.S. Open Qualifiers, five Western Amateur Championship qualifiers, five Big East Golf Championships and a USGA Senior U.S. Amateur Qualifier.

THE COMPETITION In order of their respective seedings, the Notre Dame Regional will consist of Stanford, Florida, Florida State, Duke, LSU, North Carolina State, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Murray State, Detroit and St. Francis.

FAMILIAR GROUNDS Iowa has competed on Warren Golf Course each of the last three seasons, including it’s Fall 2009 campaign. The Hawkeyes tied for sixth in the 15-team Fighting Irish Classic Oct. 5-6. Juniors Vince India and Brad Hopfinger finished in the top 15 individually after firing totals of 218 (+8) and 219 (+9), respectively.

BIG TENS The Hawkeyes are coming off a second place finish at the Big Ten Championships, their best finish since winning the title at home in 1992. Illinois held a 16-stroke advantage heading into the final round before Iowa made an incredible run, but fell just three strokes shy. Every Hawkeye finished in the top-25 individually as Iowa posted a tournament total of 1160 (+24), the third-lowest 72-hole score in program history. Sophomore Barrett Kelpin led the charge as he fired an even par 284 to finish third.

CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES Teams competing in the Notre Dame Regional, as well as the five other Regional sites, will be playing to keep their seasons alive. The top five teams and top individual, not on a qualifying team, in each region, advance to the NCAA Championships, held June 1-6 on The Honors Course in Chattanooga, TN.

QUOTING COACH HANKINS “Warren is a golf course we are familiar with, so not allowing expectations or frustrations to detract us from our focus is the goal. We are going to stick to our game plan, trust in our preparation and play our best individually to achieve our team goal.”

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 have won two tournament titles (2008 Landfall Tradition and 2010 Hawkeye Invitational), ending a five year drought. Iowa also placed second at the 2010 Big Ten Championships, it’s best finish since winning the title in 1992. After advancing through regional play a year ago and finishing 17th at the NCAA Championships, Iowa will make its second consecutive postseason appearance, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1960. Additionally, the Hawkeyes have improved their Golfweek ranking from 155th to as high as 38th, with Hankins at the helm. He is a native of Mt. Pleasant, IA, and a graduate of Iowa State.