April 16, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s golf team is in second place after one round of their own Hawkeye – TaylorMade Invitational Saturday. Due to inclement weather, the three-round tournament was reduced to two, and will be split evenly between Saturday and Sunday. The Hawkeyes posted a team score of 298 (+10), one stroke back from Missouri’s 297. North Texas rounded out the top three with a 304 (+16). The 11-team field is competing on the par 72 Finkbine golf course in Iowa City.
“In general, with the wind being totally different today,” said Head Coach Mark Hankins. “You have to treat this like a whole new golf course. You take what comes, and I think we did a good job of that.”
Senior Vince India led the Hawkeyes and is currently in second place after one round. India, ranked eighth in the nation, used a stretch of three birdies in his final six holes to post a one-round total of one-under 71. He was one of just two competitors to post a round under par Saturday.
“I started off bad, with two bogies and had a hard time putting,” said India. “It was so windy I was scared the ball would move. I missed a lot of putts inside five to 10 feet for birdies. I stayed really patient, even with the bad start. I didn’t get frustrated with myself, stayed relaxed and calm and got a couple birdies back. You have to have a tough mental game. It’s easy to get frustrated; you have to stay patient. It’s a real test of how patient you can be and how good you can keep your head on.”
Junior Brad George put together a consistent round and is tied for fifth. The Marion, Iowa, native posted 15 holes at par and turned in an 18-hole total of 75 (+3).
“I had a really scrappy round and managed to get up and down a lot,” George commented. “I just tried to make par, mostly shot for the middle of the green and tried to two-putt. Controlling ball flight was the toughest part of the day; you had to have good control in this wind.”
Senior Brad Hopfinger, along with junior Chris Brant, is tied for ninth. Both student-athletes posted a single round total of four-over 76. After making the turn at three-over, Hopfinger settled to post six consecutive pars and closed the round with a birdie on 18. Brant used an eagle on six to make the turn at one-under but struggled late in the round, recording just three holes at or under par.
“I started off well,” said Brant. “I made some good pars, found a good rhythm early and caught the eagle on six. On the back nine, I bogeyed four in a row and thought I played those holes pretty well, but with the wind the way it was, I got penalized by not hitting really, really good shots. This is as tough as we have played this course in a long time. The greens are relatively firm and they are fast. If you don’t control your shots, you are going to get penalized. It’s a difficult course when the wind isn’t blowing.”
Junior Barrett Kelpin will enter Sunday’s final round tied for 31st. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native recorded an opening round of 79 (+7). Despite remaining under par for a four-hole stretch on the front nine and recording three-consecutive pars on 16, 17 and 18, Kelpin fell victim to Saturday’s conditions, similar to a majority of the tournament field.
The final round will begin Sunday with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. (CT). Fans can follow live scoring at www.golfstatresults.com.
“We have 18 holes tomorrow and we have to do the same thing,” added Hankins. “Any good team wants to play more holes; that’s how good teams separate themselves. That’s not what we were given this week, so we’ll play 36 instead of 54 holes. The golf course was in great shape and we were fortunate to get a good round in today.”
1. Missouri 297 (+9)
2. Iowa 298 (+10)
3. North Texas 304 (+16)
4. Kansas 308 (+20)
5. Charlotte 309 (+21)
6. Wichita State 312 (+24)
7. Kansas State 313 (+25)
8. Eastern Michigan 315 (+27)
9. Nebraska 316 (+28)
10. Miami (Ohio) 317 (+29)
11. Iowa State 318 (+30)
Individual Results – Par 72 (Top 3 + Iowa)
1. Nick Wilson (Missouri) 70 (-2)
2. Vince India (Iowa) 71 (-1)
3. Carlos Ortiz (North Texas) 73 (+1)
T5. Brad George (Iowa) 75 (+3)
T9. Chris Brant (Iowa) 76 (+4)
Brad Hopfinger (Iowa) 76 (+4)
T31. Barrett Kelpin 79 (+7)