Hawkeyes See Nation's Best at Collegiate Match Play

March 20, 2011

Ball Ground, GA – The University of Iowa men’s golf team went 1-1 in the first two rounds of the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship. With eleven top-25 teams in the 16-team field, Sunday’s action saw a number of upsets, including sixth-seeded Iowa’s loss to 11th seed Southern California. The No. 10 Hawkeyes responded with a win over 14th-seeded Washington State to keep their hopes alive in the consolation bracket. Competition is being held at the par 72 Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, GA.

“I thought we played OK in the morning round, but came out competitively rusty,” said Head Coach Mark Hankins. “It’s a difficult transition from practice mode to competition mode and I think we pressed a little too hard early and didn’t get comfortable in the process.”

USC took the opening round from Iowa with 4 matches to 1 match win. Competing in the number one spot for the Hawkeyes, senior Vince India faced USC’s T.J. Vogel and took a lead four holes in. The match was tight throughout the front nine, but India began to stretch his lead at the turn. India finished the match on his 16th hole with a 4 and 2 victory. Senior Brad Hopfinger competed for Iowa in the number two spot and posted a similar start to India, holding a one-hole lead through the first five. The match was tied after seven holes but a birdie from USC’s Steve Lim on the eighth gave him an advantage Hopfinger wasn’t able to turn around. The match ended after the 16th hole with a 3 and 2 victory to USC.

Junior Chris Brant also fell in a 3 and 2 decision from the number three position. USC’s Jeffrey Kang birdied their second hole to take a one-hole lead that he never relinquished. Junior Barrett Kelpin faced Martin Trainer in a match that was decided in 17 holes. Kelpin started well with a one hole advantage after four. The match was all square at the turn, but Trainer eventually prevailed with the 2 and 1 win for USC. In Iowa’s fifth spot, junior Jed Dirksen took on Sam Smith of USC. Despite firing even par, Dirksen was unable to come back from an early deficit and fell 3 and 2 in the match.

During afternoon play the Hawkeyes responded with a decisive 3-2 win over 14th-seeded Washington State. India took on Kent Hagen in a match that was back and forth throughout. India was down one at the turn but capitalized on Hagen’s bogie at 10 to square the match. The match remained square through 16 holes of play, but Hagen won the final two holes to give Washington State the 2 up decision early in the team race. Hopfinger answered his opening round with a dominating 5 and 4 win over Nick Ellis. Hopfinger began the match with eight-consecutive holes at or under par, giving him an early two-hole advantage. Despite a bogie at six, Hopfinger came back with a pair of birdies to seal the win.

Brant matched up against Washington State’s Trent Sanders where he fell in a 5 and 4 decision. Sanders took an early lead and held on to it throughout. Kelpin also responded from Sunday’s opening round, defeating Hank Frame 5 and 4. The Kalamazoo, MI, native played well in the afternoon including a stretch of three birdies at holes five, six and seven. Needing a mid-round run of 4 holes won, Dirksen also rebounded in the afternoon with a strong 3-2 victory over his opponent sealing the team match for the Hawkeyes.

“We came out more determined and played with confidence in the second round and it showed in our scores,” said Hankins. “Our confidence allowed us to be more patient throughout each match and contributed to better decisions.”

With top-ranked teams such as Georgia, Texas, Alabama and UCLA being upset in Sunday’s action, the competition was wide open and continues for the next two days. The Hawkeyes will face second-seeded and No. 3 Alabama to begin Monday’s play. For tournament updates, live scoring and a tournament bracket, go to www.collegiatematchplay.com.

“Tomorrow will be an important match against Alabama,” added Hankins. “We are going to play within ourselves, trust in our preparation and compete for team match victory tomorrow.”

Team Results
(1) UCLA def. (16) South Carolina, 5-0
(9) Texas Tech def. (8) Georgia, 3-2
(4) Illinois def. (13) Baylor, 5-0
(5) Texas A&M def. (12) Pacific, 3-1-1
(3) Georgia Tech def. (14) Washington State, 2-2-1*
*Georgia Tech wins margin of victory tiebreaker 5 holes to 2
(11) Southern California def. (6) Iowa, 4-1
(10) Duke def. (7) Texas, 5-0
(15) East Tennessee State def. (2) Alabama, 3-2

(11) Southern California def. (6) Iowa, 4-1
Vince India def. T.J. Vogel, 4 and 2
Steve Lim def. Brad Hopfinger, 3 and 2
Martin Trainer def. Barrett Kelpin, 2 and 1
Jeffrey Kang def. Chris Brant, 3 and 2
Sam Smith def. Jed Dirksen, 3 and 2

Team Results
Championship Bracket:
(9) Texas Tech def. (1) UCLA, 3-1-1
(4) Illinois def. (5) Texas A&M, 3 and 2
(11) Southern California def. (3) Georgia Tech, 3-2
(10) Duke def. (15) East Tennessee State, 4-1

Consolation Bracket:
(8) Georgia def. (16) South Carolina, 4-0-1
(12) Pacific def. (13) Baylor, 3 and 2
(6) Iowa def. (14) Washington State, 3-2
(2) Alabama def. (7) Texas, 4-1

(6) Iowa def. (14) Washington State, 3-2
Kent Hagen def. Vince India, 2-up
Brad Hopfinger def. Nick Ellis, 5 and 4
Trent Sanders def. Chris Brant, 5 and 4
Barrett Kelpin def. Hank Frame, 5 and 4
Jed Dirksen def. Branden Dalton, 3 and 2