Feb. 11, 2011
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Palm Beach Gardens, FL – The University of Iowa men’s golf team fell, 4-2, to Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Match Play Championship Friday afternoon. The 11th-ranked Hawkeyes had a first round bye while Indiana advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 win over Wisconsin in the opening round. Competition is being held on the par 72 Champion Course at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
“Playing in a strong event such as this to start the season definitely gets your attention,” said Hawkeye Coach Mark Hankins. “With Indiana coming off a solid win in the morning and us having the bye, the front nine was key; if we made the turn in good shape, I felt we would win down the stretch. After nine holes we trailed in almost every match, and as a group never caught momentum.”
Senior Brad Hopfinger and junior Jed Dirksen posted Iowa’s two wins. Hopfinger won his match, 4&3, against Indiana’s Chase Wright while Dirksen earned the 2&1 decision over Kyle Perry. With three lead changes in his match, Hopfinger took the advantage with eight holes remaining and kept it with the help of three straight birdies. Despite a close match throughout, Dirksen only trailed for two holes in his match.
Junior Chris Brant was all square thru six holes in his match against Indiana’s David Mills, but lost 3&2. Juniors Barrett Kelpin and Brad George each lost their matches, 5&4. Kelpin took on Indiana’s Brant Peaper while George faced Corey Ziedonis.
“We had solid wins by Brad Hopfinger and Jed Dirksen, but overall we were a little rusty mentally,” added Hankins. “Having said that, we came a long way today in being prepared to win individual matches on Saturday. We will stick to our game-plan and continue to learn and play better as we progress.”
The Hawkeyes will take on Purdue in the consolation bracket Saturday at approximately 7 a.m. (CT). Illinois and Northwestern advanced to the semifinals and will face each other while Ohio State will take on Indiana. Fans can follow the action live at ajga.org.
Iowa’s Quarterfinal scores (72)
1. David Erdy over Vince India (2&1)
2. Brad Hopfinger over Chase Wright (4&3)
3. David Mills over Chris Brant (3&2)
4. Brant Peaper over Barrett Kelpin (5&4)
5. Corey Ziedonis over Brad George (5&4)
6. Jed Dirksen over Kyle Perry (2&1)