Oct. 30, 2012
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DALLAS, Texas — University of Iowa sophomore men’s golfer Ian Vandersee birdied the final hole of his round to win the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, co-hosted by Baylor and SMU at the Royal Oaks Country Club. Vandersee shot an even par, 71, marking the 50th time a Hawkeyes has earned medalist honors, and the seventh time under Iowa head coach Mark Hankins.
Vandersee, a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, carded a three-round score of 206 (-7), which is tied for best three-round score in program history. Four other Hawkeyes have shot a 206, last done by Chris Brant and Vince India in 2010. Vandersee shared medalist honors with Oklahoma State’s Ian Davis
“I was very proud of Ian’s maturity and ability to learn from this exact situation a few tournaments ago,” said Iowa head coach Mark Hankins. “He played patiently, within himself and never let the situation dictate how he played a hole. He let the tournament come to him for the most part and it ended up paying off with his confident play down the stretch. It’s a nice achievement and will help him achieve his individual goals he has set for the year.”
Led by Vandersee’s efforts, the Hawkeyes closed their fall season on a strong note, placing fifth in the competitive 14-team field. Iowa shot a 54-hole score of 852 (E), which was Iowa’s best tournament of the season by 21 strokes.
“After the first two rounds, we were in contention to win this tournament, which is always our goal on day one,” said Hankins. “That pressure situation and experience will pay dividends in the future but today we made some early mistakes and didn’t have all five guys in the mix. We did have a new low man this week and when you reach the point where three or four guys contend for that number one spot, that’s when team championships just happen. We’ll get there.”
Vandersee opened the tournament with a six-under par, 65, on Monday, which was the programs fifth best round ever recorded. Vandersee’s second round was a one-under par, 70. Entering today’s final round, Vandersee was one stroke off the lead.
He would fall further from the lead, but not before making a clutch comeback. Vandersee made three bogeys in his first five holes, and sat at two-over on the round. He settled down from there, making nine straight pars.
Vandersee birdied the par-four 15th hole to stay even with Davis, who also made birdie. After making pars on the 16th and 17th, Vandersee entered the final hole of the tournament with a one stroke deficit between himself and the title. After reaching the par-five 18th in two shots, Vandersee two-putted from 40 feet to secure the tie for medalist honors.
“Coming into the 18th hole, I had no idea where I stood on the board,” said Vandersee. “After I made the putt and walked off the green, I saw the leaderboard and realized that I took a share of the lead. Winning an invitational in college golf is pretty huge, and I’m happy to be closing the fall schedule after getting a win.”
Iowa was also led by sophomore Joseph Winslow, who tied for 16th at one-under par (212). Winslow’s 212 is his best 54-hole score of the season by six strokes. Winslow shot a two-over par, 73 in his third round. He made birdie on the par-four ninth hole and had 14 pars.
Junior Steven Ihm tied for 51st place, shooting a three-round score of 219 (+6). Ihm carded a one-over par, 72, in his third round. He made birdies on holes 6, 10, 11 and 14. Ihm led Iowa this fall with a stroke average of 73, with six rounds at or below par and two top-10 finishes.
Sophomore Brian Bullington tied for 59th place after a tallying a three-round score of 221 (+8). Bullington shot a four-over par, 75, in his third round. He made birdie on the 15th and 16th, and played the final five holes of his tournament at two-under par.
Junior Ryan Marks tied for 74th with a 54-hole score of 225 (+12), which tied his personal best tournament score of the fall season. Marks shot a 77 (+6) in Tuesday’s round. He played holes 3-9 at one-under par, and made birdie on his closing hole, the par-five 18th.
The Hawkeyes will enter the winter break with top-five finishes at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, the Rod Myers Invitational and at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate. Iowa will return to action early in the spring, beginning with the Big Ten Match Play Championships on Feb. 8-9 in Bradenton, Fla. Iowa will also host the Black and Gold Alumni Match on Feb. 2 in Sarasota, Fla.