June 1, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – NCAA Division I PING All-Region honorees have been announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and three University of Iowa men’s golfers have been selected. Seniors Vince India and Brad Hopfinger, along with junior Chris Brant, received All-Region honors to add to their all-Big Ten accolades.
This is the second time that India and Hopfinger have earned All-Region honors, while this is the first All-Region recognition for Brant. India was an All-Region honoree in 2009, while Hopfinger was honored last season.
India, a native of Deerfield, Ill., was named Big Ten Player of the Year after putting together the best individual season in Hawkeye men’s golf history. India became just the second golfer in school history to win the prestigious Les Bolstad Trophy, awarded by the Big Ten Conference at the end of the season to the male golfer who records the lowest stroke average during the season (fall and spring). India’s regular season stroke average of 71.08 is the ninth-lowest in the trophy’s history, dating back to 1974. His current total season stroke average (71.38) is the lowest in Iowa’s history.
India captured first place in three different tournaments as a senior, winning the Golfweek Conference Challenge, the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate and the Hawkeye-TaylorMade Invitational. He is just the third player in school history to win three or more tournaments in a single season.
India has played in 10 stroke-play tournaments this year and has finished in the top-15 in nine of them, including eight top-10 finishes.
He is just the second player in school history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year, joining Brad Klapprott, who won the award in 1992. India was also selected as Iowa’s Male Athlete of the Year.
Hopfinger recorded five-straight top-20 finishes in the fall, including top-10 marks in each of the last three tournaments. He finished tied for third at the Fighting Irish Classic with a three-round total of 209 (-1), tied for second at the Rod Meyers/Duke Invitational with a score of 212 (-4) and tied for seventh at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate with a two-round total of 137 (-5).
The Lake Forest, Ill., finished tied for 10th at the Hawkeye-TaylorMade Invitational and tied for 14th at the Robert Kepler Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. Hopfinger currently owns a season scoring average of 72.69 which stands as the fourth lowest in program history.
Brant made his presence known in the conference with an impressive performance at the 2011 Big Ten Championships. Brant held the lead for the first two rounds before finishing runner-up by one stroke to Illinois’ Luke Guthrie. Brant and Guthrie were the only two players in the 54-man field at the Big Ten Championships to finish even par or better. His current season scoring average of 72.17 stands as the second lowest in Iowa record books.
Brant also led the Hawkeyes at NCAA Regionals, finishing tied for seventh. He shared the individual lead after the first round of the NCAA Regional tournament.
The Hawkeyes are currently at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in Stillwater, Okla. Thirty of the nation’s best programs are competing in three rounds of stroke play, vying for one of the coveted top eight spots in the match play bracket to decide the national champion. The NCAA Championship is being held May 31-June 5.