Sept. 26, 2011
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BURLINGTON, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s golf teams sits in fourth place entering Tuesday’s final round at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, hosted by Spirit Hollow. The Hawkeyes shot a second round total of 294 (+6) and own a two-round total of 577 (+1). Iowa is seven shots behind tournament leaders Chattanooga (570, -6).
The Hawkeyes were in the final grouping off the first tee for second round action, paired with Chattanooga and Arkansas. Teams with late tee times battled extremely harsh conditions at Spirit Hollow, with hard rain and strong winds present for the majority of play.
“It was windy, rainy and cold all day,” sophomore Steven Ihm said. “It was tough playing conditions out there. It was a grueling, almost seven-and-a-half hour round. Everyone had to put up with it, but it was tough.”
The weather conditions were fair at the start of the round and Iowa started strong. Barrett Kelpin’s birdie on the ninth hole gave Iowa a one stroke lead at -12, as the Hawkeyes improved their team score by seven strokes during play on the front nine.
Mother Nature took over when the final groups were on the back nine, as sheets of rain and gusting winds made conditions tough as the Hawkeyes played holes 12-18.
Two Hawkeyes sit inside the top-10 after Monday’s round. Ihm and senior Chris Brant are tied for seventh with a two-day total of 143 (-1).
“I played pretty well today,” Ihm said. “I kept it around par pretty much all day and I avoided the big numbers.”
Ihm led Iowa in the second round, firing an even par 72. Ihm started his day with birdies on one and three, but a bogey on seven brought his front nine total to -1. Ihm was +1 on the back nine, with bogeys on 12 and 17 but finished with a birdie on 18.
Brant followed his first round 70 (-2) with a second round 73 (+1). Brant tallied two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, with eight pars and one bogey on the back.
Kelpin is in 20th place with a two-day score of 146 (+2). He started his round with a bogey on the first, but birdied three of his next four holes. Another birdie on nine gave him a 33 (-3) on the front nine and he dropped another stroke with a birdie on 11. The tough conditions showed at the end, with Kelpin recording a triple bogey on 13, a bogey on 16 and a double bogey on 17.
Redshirt freshman Ian Vandersee recorded a 75 (+3) Monday for a two-round score of 148 (+4) and sits in a tie for 23rd place. Vandersee had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine and was +1 on the day heading into 18. He took a double bogey on 18 to shoot his final score of 75.
Senior Brad George rounded out the Hawkeye lineup with an 84 (+12). He is in a tie for 54th place with a total score of 154 (+10). George tallied an eagle on the 396 yard, par-4 16th hole. George holed out from 120 yards with a 52-degree gap wedge.
The final round at the Golfweek Conference Challenge starts Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. The Hawkeyes will start play on holes 6-10. Fans can follow along with live scoring at www.golfstat.com.