Hawkeyes to Finish Fall Season at Royal Oaks

Oct. 25, 2012

Weekly Notes

The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to Dallas, Texas, to close out the fall season at the 2012 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate on Oct. 29-30. Co-hosted by Baylor and SMU, the three-round event will be played at the 7,068-yard, par-71 Royal Oaks Country Club. The first two rounds will be played Monday beginning with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (CT), while Tuesday’s final round will begin with tee times at 8:30 a.m. (CT). Fans can follow live scoring at golfstat.com.

The Royal Oaks Intercollegiate field consists of Augusta State, Baylor, Iowa, Lamar, North Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Tulsa. Nine of 14 teams in the field participated in the 2011 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, including the reigning champion, Texas A&M. Ten teams in the field are either ranked or receiving votes in the latest GolfWorld/Nike Golf Coaches Poll. Eight teams participating are ranked within the top-40 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Six teams in the field are ranked within the top-30 of the Golfstat.com Rankings. Iowa is one of just two teams to win this tournament, claiming the title in 2010, while Texas A&M has won three times.

The field consists of 24 players ranked within the top-150 of the Golfweek Individual Rankings, including three within the top-14. Twelve players in the field are ranked within the top-150 of the Golfstat Cup Standings, including Missouri’s third-ranked Jace Long and Oklahoma State’s No. 10 Talor Gooch.

“Royal Oaks” course at Royal Oaks Country Club offers 18 holes of Bermuda grass with a course rating of 74.6 and slope rating of 142. Covering 7,068 yards from the tips, this par 71 holds the original layout and designs of J. Press Maxwell, Don January and Bill Martindale. Royal Oaks continues to be chosen as one of the best traditional layouts in the nation.

The Hawkeyes placed 15th at a talent-loaded field at the U.S. Collegiate Championship last weekend. Iowa had a three-round score of 912 (+48) on the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia.

Junior Steven Ihm and sophomore Brian Bullington each led Iowa with top-35 finishes. Ihm placed tied for 28th with a 222 (+6), and Bullington placed tied for 34th with a 223 (+7). Sophomores Ian Vandersee and Joseph Winslow, and junior Ryan Marks were also in action. Vandersee and Marks both tied for 71st (236), while Winslow tied for 74th (237).

Junior Steven Ihm has had Iowa’s lowest 54-hole score each tournament this season, and has shot Iowa’s lowest 18-hole score in eight of 12 rounds. The Peosta, Iowa, native has two top-10 finishes, and leads the team with a stroke average of 73. Ihm is ranked 73rd in the Golfweek Individual Rankings, and 135th in the Golfstat Cup Standings.

Texas A&M won the 2011 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, shooting an 830 (-22) to edge Duke by one stroke. Lamar’s MJ Daffue won medalist honors, carding a three-round score of 202 (-11). Iowa tied for ninth at 11-over par (863), led by a Barrett Kelpin’s 212 (-1). The Hawkeyes will have two players with returning experience at this tournament with Steven Ihm and Ian Vandersee participating last year. Vandersee tied for 43rd (+5), and Ihm tied for 60th (+10).

The Hawkeyes have the 31st ranked strength of schedule in the nation, according to Golfweek.com.

The Hawkeyes won the 2010 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, shooting a 551 (-17) to win by five strokes over Texas A&M. Play was halted after 36 holes due to inclement weather. Iowa’s Vince India won the tournament with a 132 (-10). Brad Hopfinger also had a top-10 finish for Iowa, finishing at five-under (137).

Iowa is getting experience up and down the lineup, as every player on the roster has competed in at least one tournament this fall. Freshmen Nate Yankovich and Voramate Aussarassakorn made their collegiate debut at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, while classmate Landon Kowalski has participated in two tournaments. Joseph Winslow has played nine rounds this fall season, while Ihm, Vandersee, Bullington and Marks have played in all four tournaments.

Sophomore Brian Bullington has a 75.58 stroke average this fall season, and all but two of his 12 rounds have been within two strokes of his average. In Bullington’s last three tournaments, his 18-hole rounds have all been within three strokes of each other. Bullington has a 74.33 stroke average in his past six rounds.

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.

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.

Iowa will take a break over the winter months before beginning the spring season in February. Iowa will host the Black & Gold Alumni Match in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 2, and will officially begin the spring season with the Big Ten Match Play Championships in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 8.