April 9, 2013
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team hosts the 20th annual Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational this week at the Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. Iowa will be looking to win its fourth consecutive championship at the event. Action gets underway Saturday with two rounds beginning with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. (CT). Sunday’s final round is a shotgun start at 9 a.m. (CT). Live results will be available at golfstat.com
Iowa will host Charlotte, Iowa State, Kansas, Miami (OH), Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Washington State and Wisconsin. The field includes five teams ranked inside the top-100 of both the Golfstat Rankings and Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. The Hawkeyes are the highest ranked team in the field, checking in at #58.
The field consists of five players ranked in the Golfstat Cup Standings. Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez is ranked 12th — the highest ranked player in the field. Iowa’s Steven Ihm is the second-highest rated player in the field (119).
Steven Ihm, Joseph Winslow, Brian Bullington, Ian Vandersee and Nate Yankovich will compete in Iowa’s varsity lineup. Ryan Marks, Voramate Aussarassakorn and Landon Kowalski will also compete individually.
The 7,180-yard, par-72 Finkbine Golf Course is prized by the University and Iowa City community alike. A tremendous test of golf, Finkbine was the site of the Amana VIP Pro-Am for more than 20 years, featuring the PGA’s finest as well as national and local celebrities. In 1991 Finkbine also became the host of the Ben Hogan Tour – Hawkeye Open. Collegiately, Finkbine has been the site for the 1992 and 2002 men’s Big Ten Championships, the Hawkeye Intercollegiate and the Big Four Invitational.
LAST TIME OUT
Iowa played its first stroke-play tournament of the spring season last week, competing at the U.S. Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, Calif. The Hawkeyes tied for 12th in the talented 17-team field with a 54-hole tally of 858 (+18).
Iowa had its second and third best rounds of the season, carding a 284 (+4) and 282 (+2). Iowa dropped its stroke average nearly two strokes, down to 295.05.
Junior Steven Ihm played the tournament even par to lead the Hawkeyes, tying for 16th place (210). Brian Bullington (214/+4), Joseph Winslow (219/+9), Nate Yankovich (220/+10) and Ian Vandersee (228/+18) were also in action for the Hawkeyes.
MATCH PLAY DOMINANCE
The Hawkeyes opened spring competition with two match play events, posting a 4-1 team record. Iowa was dominant in those matches, with a 21.5-5.5 record in individual matches.
Iowa defeated Purdue (4-1) and Ohio State (3.5-1.5) in the Big Ten Match Play Championships, and Drake (6-0) and Iowa State (5-1) in the Big Four Championships.
IHM LEADING THE WAY
Junior Steven Ihm continues to be Iowa’s low man after earning his third top-20 finish of the season at the U.S. Intercollegiate. The Peosta, Iowa, native has played eight rounds under par this season and has a team-low 72.5 stroke average this season. Ihm is ranked 93rd in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and 119th in the Golfstat Cup Standings.
VANDERSEE CLOSES FALL WITH TITLE
Sophomore Ian Vandersee provided fireworks for Iowa in the final fall event, winning the individual title at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate. Vandersee shot a seven-under, 206, which is tied for the lowest three-round score in program history. His opening round 65 (-6) is tied for the third lowest 18-hole score in program history. Vandersee became the 50th Hawkeye to win medalist honors, and was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week for his efforts.
2012 HAWKEYE-GRE INVITE
Iowa won its 13th Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational championship last season. Iowa closed with a 54-hole score of 840 (-24), which ranks first in tournament history and third in program history. The Hawkeyes were led by six players placing in the top-11, including a runner-up finish from Chris Brant. Iowa State’s Nate McCoy won the tournament, closing at 14-under (202).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
The Hawkeyes have the 19th-ranked strength of schedule in the nation, according to Golfweek.com.
Every player on the roster has seen action in at least one tournament this season. Three players have played all 18 rounds (Ihm, Vandersee, Bullington), while Winslow and Marks have played 15 rounds. Each freshmen competed individually at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, while Landon Kowalski and Yankovich also have varsity experience.
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 — one of just 22 teams in the nation to do so. Iowa has won eight tournaments since 2008, had seven 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 — 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-50 for the past three years. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and a graduate of Iowa State.
The Hawkeyes will be at the Boilermaker Invitational next week in West Lafayette, Ind. The three-round tournament runs from April 20-21.