Iowa Takes 6th at Golfweek Conference Challenge

Sept. 27, 2011

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BURLINGTON, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s golf team placed sixth out of 15 teams at the 2011 Golfweek Conference Challenge Tuesday at Spirit Hollow in Burlington, Iowa. The Hawkeyes fired a third round total of 302 (+12) for a three-day total of 879 (+15). Iowa recorded a solid team finish against one of the toughest fields in NCAA golf this fall, with numerous nationally ranked teams competing in the tournament.

“I was really pleased with how we played this week,” Hankins said. “We were well prepared and fought hard. One stretch of nine holes really cost us. We lost a lot of strokes on the back side yesterday. A trait of Iowa golf is finishing strong, but we went from fourth to sixth today. That’s something we need to look at, but overall, I’m pleased with the performance.”

Senior Chris Brant was Iowa’s top player, finishing T13 with a three-round total of 318 (+2). Brant carded a final round 75 (+3). He started on the fourth hole in Tuesday’s shotgun start and recorded a birdie. He tallied back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11, but bounced back with pars on the next five holes. After a bogey on 17, Brant sunk a par on 18 and finished with three-straight pars.

“I’m a little bit disappointed in my finish today,” Brant said. “I didn’t make enough birdies and was hoping for a better result. As a team, we beat some good teams on a tough golf course. We need to hold our heads high but need to make improvements heading into the next tournament.”

Sophomore Steven Ihm finished inside the top-25, tying for 22nd with a 221 (+5). Ihm wrapped up the day with a 78 (+6). After a bogey on the fifth, his first hole, Ihm carded four-straight pars. He then bogeyed three of his next four but dropped a birdie on 14. Ihm struggled on the par-3 15th with a triple bogey and then bogeyed 18. He followed with back-to-back birdies on 1 and 2.

Senior Barrett Kelpin also finished tied for 22nd with a 221 (+5) after a third-round score of 75 (+3). Kelpin started with a bogey and birdie on 6 and 7 and took a double bogey on 17. Kelpin then had three pars and a birdie on 16. He finished with pars on six of his final seven holes.

Redshirt freshman Ian Vandersee finished tied for 28th with a 222 (+6) and shot a final round score of 74 (+2). Vandersee parred three-straight holes to start and took bogeys on 10 and 15, along with a birdie on 13. He finished with a consistent performance of seven pars in a row from holes 16 to 4.

Senior Brad George rounded out Iowa’s lineup with a T65 finish (234, +18). George started with a par on hole 7 and then recorded back-to-back bogeys. He rallied for four-straight pars, but two more bogeys on 14 and 15 dropped George two shots. He birdied the 18th, but took three more strokes with a triple bogey on the par-5 second.

The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday-Sunday at the Rod Meyers Invitational, hosted by Duke University. Iowa will travel to Duhram, N.C., this weekend as the defending tournament champions.

“We have 10 guys on our team and need to put the best five guys in our lineup,” Hankins said. “We had success at Duke last year, winning the tournament. Some of the guys on the team remember that from last year and we will start to focus on our next tournament right away.”