Sept. 17, 2012
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BURLINGTON, Iowa — Junior Steven Ihm is only two strokes off the lead heading into the final round of the 2012 Golfweek Conference Challenge, hosted by the University of Iowa and Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa. The Hawkeyes are in sixth place after 36 holes, shooting a team score of 291 (+3) in the second round, for a two-round tally of 583 (+7).
We got out to a nice start and had some great play from different guys,” head coach Mark Hankins said. “We hung in there nicely and played a pretty solid round.”
Ihm fired a 71 (-1) on Monday and trails Missouri’s Jace Long for the individual lead. The Peosta, Iowa, native started his round with three pars, and heated up with three consecutive birdies on holes 4-6. Ihm birdied the eighth to get to four-under, but bogeyed nine to finish the front nine with a 33 (-3).
Ihm dropped another stroke with a birdie on 10, but carded bogeys on his next two holes. He gained those strokes back with two more birdies on 13 and 14. Inclement weather began to roll through Burlington as Ihm’s round came to a close, as he bogeyed 15, 17 and 18 to finish with a 71 and a two-round score of 139 (-5). His 14 birdies through two rounds are tied for the most among the field.
“Steven had a lot of focus today,” Hankins said. “He played in the last group of the day, which was the toughest spot to play in today. He battled down the stretch in some tough weather and put up a solid one under par round. “
Sophomore Joseph Winslow shaved five strokes off his first round and is tied for 21st place with a 147 (+3). Winslow matched Ihm’s low team score for the day, carding a 71 (-1). He started with three pars before birdies on two of his next four holes. After shooting a 35 (-1) on the front side, Winslow tallied a birdie on 10 to start the final nine holes. He made par on holes 11-13 before back-to-back bogeys on 14-15. Winslow finished his round on a high note, making birdie on 18.
“Joseph was out there trying to save every shot he could,” Hankins said. “He really maximized his round. He made birdies when he needed to and put up a good score.”
Marks took four strokes off his first round score and finished Monday with a 73 (+1). He started four-over through his first three holes, but bounced back to turn in Iowa’s third best score of the day. He went three-under after the rough start, shooting a 37 (+1) on the front. He made par on seven-straight holes, along with a birdie on 16.
Bullington fired a second round score of 76 (+4); tallying pars on his first five holes. He had two birdies and four bogeys on the back side.
Vandersee made the turn at two-under, sinking three birdies and a bogey. The West Des Moines, Iowa, native bogeyed the 10th hole to start the back side, and also found bogeys on 13-15. His round ended with a double bogey on the 18th for a 76 (+4).
Final round action at the 2012 Golfweek Conference Challenge concludes on Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Fans can follow live scoring at golfstat.com.
“We are going to stick to our game plan and work to stay in the present,” Hankins said. “One shot at a time, all day long, until we are finished.”