Iowa Aims for Big 10 Title

April 24, 2012

The University of Iowa men’s golf team will begin its postseason at the Big Ten Championships April 27-29. The Hawkeyes will travel to French Lick, Ind. for the three-day conference finale. Action is being held on a neutral site; the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Ind. Fans can follow the action live at

The nationally recognized Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort plays to 8,102 yards from the championship tees. This par 72 was built into Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest and has a course rating of 80.0 and a slope rating of 148. Considered one of Dye’s best inland courses, the French Lick track was named 2009’s `Best New Public Course in America’ by multiple publications.

The Big Ten boasts three programs ranked in the top-50 nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, led by the No. 26 Hawkeyes. Following behind Iowa (in order of ranking) is Indiana (37), Illinois (39), Northwestern (55), Purdue (59), Ohio State (66), Michigan State (94), Minnesota (104), Michigan (122), Penn State (147), Wisconsin (157) and Nebraska (180). Illinois’ Luke Guthrie is leading the league individually with a No. 16 national ranking. Iowa Senior Barrett Kelpin is ranked 25th while Eric Chun of Northwestern is No. 44.

Iowa will look to improve on its third place finish at last year’s Big Ten Championship. Ranked No. 9 in the nation at the time, Iowa posted a 72-hole score of 1181 (+29), behind Illinois (1160, +8) and Northwestern 1179 (+27) in first and second place, respectively. Chris Brant paced the Hawkeyes with runner-up medalist honors and a tournament total of even par 288. Vince India took home Big Ten Player of the Year honors with a season stroke average of 71.08.

HEAD COACH Mark Hankins
Hankins is in his fifth year as Iowa’s head men’s golf coach after spending seven years as the head coach at Michigan State University. Under Hankins, the Hawkeyes finished last season ranked ninth among all NCAA Division I teams. Hankins’ 2010-11 squad is coming off a 10th place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships, Iowa’s best finish since 1960. After a second place finish at the 2010 Big Ten Championships, its best finish since 1992, Iowa placed third at the 2011 Big Tens. Hankins and company will look to make their fourth-consecutive NCAA postseason appearance this season.

NCAA Regional selections will take place after all conference championships have been completed. Conference champions receive an automatic berth into regionals, with the remaining field of teams being selected nationally at-large. Regional competitions will be contested at six different sites, May 17-19.