Brant Shoots Under Par to Lead Iowa Men's Golf

May 18, 2012

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ATHENS, GA. – – Senior Chris Brant fired a one-under par 70 to lead the University of Iowa men’s golf team in the second round of the NCAA Southeast Regional. The Hawkeyes are in 11th place following two rounds of action at the University of Georgia Golf Course with a score of 581 (+13). The Hawkeyes shot a second round score of 293 (+9) Friday, the sixth best round of the day.

Along with Brant, Iowa’s second round scores included senior Barrett Kelpin and sophomore Steven Ihm with matching three-over par 74’s, freshman Ian Vandersee with a 75 and freshman Joseph Winslow with an 84.

The regional will conclude with 18 holes of play Saturday. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships. Alabama leads the regional with a 36-hole score of 545 (-23), followed by East Carolina (557), North Florida (562), Georgia (568) and New Mexico (575). Alabama recorded a score of 276 (-8) Friday to post the lowest round for the second straight day.

“I think we got out to a great start today,” said Iowa coach Mark Hankins. “We made a couple mistakes coming down the stretch, but in general, I think the guys hung in there. Today nine over par was a decent score, totally different from yesterday. The golf course had some tucked pins, the wind was blowing a little bit and the golf course was just a little bit more difficult. That happens from day to day and we’re going to have to make up some ground tomorrow.”

Brant was even par through nine holes, posting two birdies and two bogeys as the Hawkeyes started on the back nine for the second straight day. After a birdie on his 10th hole he suffered bogies on his next two holes. Brant was able to birdie the par four fifth hole and the par five seventh hole to get in red numbers for the day. He is tied for 20th place overall at one over par.

“I played well,” said Brant. “I had a lot of opportunities. I was one under coming into 18. It’s a pretty hard hole and I bogeyed it. I went back-to-back bogies on two and three, but then I rallied and made some good birdies on seven, the par five, and one of the par four’s. That was good to get me back on track.

“It was definitely tougher today,” said Brant, of the swirling wind. “Obviously you can tell by the scores that it definitely played tougher. Yesterday was about as easy as it could have played, but today was definitely more difficult because out here the wind swirls. You get back in the hollows and the trees and you don’t know exactly where the wind is. But yeah, it definitely played more difficult.”

“Chris just hung in there, just like he did yesterday, and kept making pars,” noted Hankins of Brant’s under-par round. “When it was available to make birdie he did. I think he birdied two or three holes on his last nine and got himself to one under, which is a nice score today.”

Kelpin had an up and down front nine that included birdies on each of the two par three’s. He also had two bogies and a double bogey for an opening 38. He began his back nine with a double bogie before collecting seven pars and a birdie on his final eight holes. The birdie came after a solid up and down from the sand on the par five seventh hole.

Vandersee was one over through nine holes, collecting a birdie and two bogies. He added a second birdie on his final nine holes, but also suffered two bogies and a double. Ihm was two over par through nine holes before adding a second birdie and two bogies on his final nine holes.

“We’re close, we’re really close,” concluded Brant, on Iowa’s standing after two rounds. “We didn’t play that well today; I don’t feel, as a team. I think we’re definitely close and if we go about our business tomorrow I think we’ll be in good shape.”

“We’re just trying to stick to the same game plan that we’ve had,” concluded Hankins. “We got off to a pretty good start on one and two today; we need to continue to try and take advantage of the holes that we can. There are some holes out there that you have to play to the middle of the green. We’re learning every day and I’m sure that will show up tomorrow.”

The Hawkeyes will tee off in round three beginning at 7:20 a.m. CT Saturday, opening with the back nine for the third straight round.

Following are the team standings and individual leaders through two rounds:

Team Result (Par 71)
1. Alabama 269-276=545 (-23)
2. East Carolina 276-281=557 (-11)
3. North Florida 271-291=562 (-6)
4. Georgia 280-288=568 (E)
5. New Mexico 285-290=575 (+7)
6. UNCW 282-295=577 (+9)
T7. Long Beach State 297-281=578 (+10)
T7. Wake Forest 284-294=578 (+10)
T7. Houston 282-296=578 (+10)
10. Augusta State 283-296=579 (+11)
11. Iowa 288-293=581 (+13)
12. Texas-Arlington 285-302=587 (+19)
13. Loyola-MD 301-300=601 (+33)

Individual Results (Top 3 + Iowa)
1. Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) 66-67=133 (-9)
2. Justin Thomas (Alabama) 67-67=134 (-8)
3. Ryan Eibner (E. Carolina) 67-68=135 (-7)
T20. Chris Brant (Iowa) 73-70=143 (+1)
T30. Barrett Kelpin (Iowa) 71-74=145 (+3)
T44. Ian Vandersee (Iowa) 71-75=146 (+4)
T57. Steven Ihm (Iowa) 74-74=148 (+6)
T72. Joseph Winslow (Iowa) 73-84=157 (+15)