Sept. 18, 2012
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BURLINGTON, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s golfer Steven Ihm tied for second place out of 75 individuals at the 2012 Golfweek Conference Challenge, co-hosted by Iowa and Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa. Ihm carded a 209 (-7) three-round total to help the Hawkeyes jump from sixth to fourth place on the final day.
Iowa tallied a 294 (+6) in its final round to finish at 877 (+6), good enough for a fourth place finish. The Hawkeyes shaved 45 strokes off its 54-hole team score from last weekend.
“At the beginning of the week, I felt a top-five finish in this field would be good for us right now, so we’re pleased with our end result,” said head coach Mark Hankins. “Our guys fought it out a little bit better at the end of the round today, and we flipped the script on what happened the past two days. We picked up four or five shots at the very end, and that made the difference between finishing fourth instead of 6th.”
For the fifth consecutive round this season, the Hawkeyes were led by their returning second team All-Big Ten selection in Ihm. He carded his third consecutive round under par in the tournament’s final day, with a two-under par 70.
Ihm opened the day with a birdie on No. 5, but would surrender two strokes before playing the final 11 holes at four-under. Ihm made birdies on No. 15, 2, 4, and 5 to close his round.
Ihm finished the Golfweek Conference Challenge with 18 birdies, which were tied for the most among the 75-player field.
“Overall, it was just a really solid three days,” Ihm said. “I had a lot of things working out there. I placed second, which is a good finish, although I’d like to be up there on top of the leaderboard.”
Sophomore Joseph Winslow carded a 73 (+1) in his final round to record a top-20 finish, tying for 15th place. Winslow tallied seven birdies and six bogeys in Tuesday’s final round. He finished his round with three-straight birdies on holes 2-4. His 14 birdies in the tournament were the third-most in the field.
“It was a good first tournament back for me,” said Winslow, a returning honorable mention All-American. “It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a competitive environment like this, so I was happy to get back in action and finish with a decent score. At the same time, I know I can do a little bit better, too.”
Junior Ryan Marks tied for 31st place with a three-round total of 225 (+9), firing a final round score of 75 (+3). Marks began his round with three pars before bogeys on 10 and 11. He strung together five more pars in a row and dropped a birdie on the par-5 18th. After a bogey on hole No. 1, Marks rallied with two pars and another birdie.
Sophomore Brian Bullington carded a 76 (+4) in his final round for a 54-hole mark of 226 (+10), tying for 37th place. Bullington began his round with a bogey on the seventh hole and rebounded with pars on eight, nine and 10. He bogeyed five of his next six hole, but bounced back on the front side, shooting a 35 (-1) with three birdies.
Sophomore Ian Vandersee placed 46th with a 228 (+12) after a third round score of 78 (+6). Vandersee was four-over after his first five holes, but settled in with pars on his next five. He went one-under on his final five holes, ending his day with a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole.
“Duke is our next tournament, and that is another golf course we have some experience at,” said Hankins. “With some focused practice on our individual weaknesses we will be ready to fight for another top finish.”
The Hawkeyes return to action on Oct. 13, playing at the two-day, 54-hole Rod Myers Invitational in Durham, N.C. The tournament is played at the par 72, 7,136-yard Duke Golf Club. The Hawkeyes finished fourth at the event last season with an 883 (+19), while Ihm finished runner-up.
Iowa will also be hosting its Alumni Challenge on Friday, Sept. 21 at Finkbine.