Oct. 17, 2012
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team will participate in the prestigious seventh annual U.S. Collegiate Championship this weekend in Alpharetta, Ga., at the Golf Club of Georgia’s Lakeside Course. Play will include 18 holes with tee times at 8 a.m. (CT) from Friday through Sunday. The USCC began in 2006, and is known as “the Masters of college golf.” Fans can follow live scoring at golfstat.com or follow the tournament central page at theuscc.org.
The U.S. Collegiate Championship field consists of Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Tennessee State, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Virginia, Wake Forest and Washington.
Thirteen teams in the field qualified for NCAA Regionals last season, with eight advancing to the NCAA Championships. The field includes seven of the top-12 teams in Golfweek’s Pre-Season rankings. All but one team competing is ranked or receiving votes in the GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches Poll. Eleven teams in the field are ranked within the top-30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, as well as the top 30 of the Golfstat.com rankings.
The U.S. Collegiate Championship will bring the some of the nation’s top collegiate players together. Twenty-nine players in the field are ranked within the top-100 of the Golfweek player rankings, including five inside the top-10. Fifteen players in the field are ranked within the top-100 of the Golfstat.com player rankings.
The Golf Club of Georgia’s Lakeside Course was named the “Best New Private Course in America” by Golf Digest in 1991. It plays 7,017 yards and is a par-72. The course is known for its fast, firm greens, and its accuracy demands on approach shots.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes earned their second straight top-five finish, placing fifth out of 11 teams at the Rod Myers Invitational. Iowa carded rounds of 288 (E), 295 (+7) and 290 (+2) to record its best three-round score of the season, an 873 (+9).
Junior Steven Ihm tied for 10th, firing a 216 (E). Sophomore Joseph Winslow earned his second straight top-20 finish, tying for 18th with a 218 (+2). Sophomore Ian Vandersee tied for 20th with a 219 (+3). Sophomore Brian Bullington tied for 35th with a 223 (+7), while junior Ryan Marks placed 50th with a 229 (+13).
HAWKEYES ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Iowa has improved from one tournament to the next every time out this season. Iowa carded its best 54-hole score of the season at the Rod Myers Invitational, which was 49 strokes lower than Iowa’s season-opening tournament score.
Iowa also tallied its best 18-hole score of the season last weekend, an even-par, 288. The Hawkeyes had their players shoot their lowest tournament score of the fall season last weekend.
IHM LEADING THE WAY
Junior Steven Ihm has led Iowa on the leaderboard for each of the past three tournaments. Ihm earned his second straight top-10 finish at the Rod Myers Invitational, and carded his fourth and fifth round of the season at or under par. Ihm has a 72.66 stroke average, and ranks 71st in the Golfweek player ratings.
2011 U.S. COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Iowa finished tied for fifth at the 2011 U.S. Collegiate Championships, jumping five spots on the leaderboard in the final round. Iowa finished with a three-round score of 868 (+4). The Hawkeyes will have two players with experience at this tournament, as Ihm and Vandersee competed last year. Ihm carded a 213 (-3) to place eighth, while Vandersee tied for 49th with a 224 (+8).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
The Hawkeyes have the 31st ranked strength of schedule in the nation, according to Golfweek.com.
FRESHMEN COMPETE AT BALL STATE
Iowa had three players compete at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, an individual tournament hosted by Ball State. Freshmen Nate Yankovich, Voramate Aussarassakorn and Landon Kowalski were in action.
Making his collegiate debut, Yankovich led the Hawkeyes with a top-10 finish. He fired his first career under-par round in the final round, shooting a 68 (-2) to finish with a 215 (+5). Yankovich tied for eighth. Aussarassakorn improved from one round to the next each round in his first collegiate tournament. Aussrassakorn carded a 73 (+3) on the final day, and finished with a three-round tally of 223 (+13) to place 22nd. Kowalski shot a 226 (+16) and tied for 26th in his second competition as a Hawkeye.
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Under head coach Mark Hankins, the Hawkeyes are a program heading in the right direction. Iowa has advanced to NCAA postseason play in four consecutive seasons. The Hawkeyes have also reached the NCAA Championships three of the past four seasons, and are one of just 22 teams in the nation to do so. Iowa has won eight tournaments since 2008, had six individual medalists since 2009 and has had three All-Americans since 2008.
Sophomore Ian Vandersee earned his first top-20 finish of the season at the Rod Myers Invitational, tying for 20th at three-over par. Vandersee carded his first and second sub par rounds of the season, and improved his stroke average to 75.22.
WINSLOW PROVIDES IOWA WITH LIFT
Since being inserted into the Hawkeye lineup, freshman Joseph Winslow has earned two top-20 finishes and carded three rounds at or under par. Winslow has a 73 stroke average, and is coming off his best 54-hole score of the season, a two-over par, 218.
HEAD COACH Mark Hankins
Head coach Mark Hankins enters his sixth season as head coach. Under Hankins’ guidance, Iowa has advanced to NCAA postseason competition the past four seasons. The Hawkeyes have advanced to three NCAA Championships in the past four years, and is one of just 22 teams in the nation to do so. Iowa was ranked 155th when Hankins took over the program in 2008, yet the Hawkeyes have been consistently ranked within the top-30 for the past three years. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and a graduate of Iowa State.