April 21, 2013
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The University of Iowa men’s golf team captured its first tournament title of the season Sunday at the Boilermaker Invitational on the Kampen Course. The Hawkeyes were in first wire-to-wire — sharing the title honors with Louisville — with a 54-hole score of 878 (+14).
Iowa tied for first in the 18-team field after carding a 301 (+13) final round score to prevail in a dogfight down the stretch. For the second straight tournament, junior Steven Ihm’s heroics lifted the Hawkeyes. Ihm earned co-medalist honors after closing the tournament at five-under (211), a score that is identical to his first place finish last week at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational.
Led by a pair of top-four finishes, Iowa claimed its ninth tournament championship under head coach Mark Hankins. Ihm’s performance also marked the ninth time an Iowa student-athlete has claimed individual medalist honors under Hankins. The Peosta, Iowa, native is the seventh Hawkeye to win more than one tournament in a season – the first since Vince India’s three-win season in 2010-11.
“Our preparation allowed us to trust and push each other this week,” said Hankins. “Give our guys credit. We were tough all weekend and it paid off.”
The Black and Gold entered Sunday’s round atop the leaderboard with at one-over par (577). The Hawkeyes were in a three-horse race with No. 34 Illinois and Louisville in the final round. Iowa’s one-two punch of Ihm and sophomore Joseph Winslow led the Hawkeyes to a nervy first place finish.
The Hawkeyes have earned back-to-back top-two finishes to close the regular season. Iowa has improved its spring stroke average to 289.33, over six strokes better than its fall average, to enter the postseason riding a wave of momentum.
Just like he did last week, Ihm played all three rounds below par to best the field. He entered the final round tied for second place at three-under (141) before closing with a two-under par, 70, to share medalist honors with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist. Ihm shot a 34 (-2) on the front side with back-to-back birdies on holes No. 6 and 7. Ihm played his final nine even-par with two birdies and two bogeys to close the tournament at five-under and best the field.
“It’s definitely a special feeling getting a win,” said Ihm. “It was a good win for a team, too, and shows that we are capable of really good things when we’re playing well.”
Ihm has played seven of his last eight rounds below par, placed in the top-16 of all three of Iowa’s spring stroke play tournament and holds a 70.22 stroke average this spring. He has a team-high four top-ten finishes this season and a cumulative 71.95 round average – which would be the second-best in program history if maintained through the Big Ten Championships.
“Steven took care of his golf ball this week, he played patient, confident golf and let his rounds come to him,” said Hankins. “Back-to-back wins is a great accomplishment.
Winslow earned his first career top-five finish, tying for fourth after playing the tournament even-par (216). The Overland Park, Kan., native closed with a 76 (+4) with three birdies and 10 pars. Winslow’s top-five finish was fueled by brilliant play in the first two rounds with an opening round 68 (-4) and a second round 72 (E). He finished the tournament with nine birdies and an eagle.
“It was a solid tournament for Joseph,” said Hankins. “He played to his strengths, stayed patient and deserved a top-five finish this week.”
Winslow has a 72.5 stroke average in the past four stroke play tournaments with three top-20 finishes in that stretch.
“It feels great to get a top-five finish,” said Winslow, who was an honorable mention All-American last season as a true freshman. “I learned a lot last week at the Hawkeye Invitational and applied that this weekend. It shows a lot of good progress, and I’m ready to keep working to get better as we head to the Big Ten Championship.”
Sophomore Brian Bullington tied for 24th place, his third consecutive top-34 finish. He carded a three-round total of 223 (+7) after a final round 77 (+5). The Frankfurt, Ill., native played his final nine even-par with three birdies. He had seven birdies in the tournament.
Sophomore Ian Vandersee tied for 49th place with a 54-hole score of 230 (+14). Vandersee played the front nine of his final round one-over and made 12 pars on the day, carding a 78 (+6). The West Des Moines, Iowa, native has played all 24 rounds this season.
Freshman Nate Yakovich tied for 66th place with a three-round score of 235 (+19). He birdied the par-three 13th hole and made 10 pars to close with a final round 81 (+9). The highlight of the freshman’s tournament came in the second round with a well-played 73 (+1), making three birdies and 12 pars.
Iowa returns to action next week with the Big Ten Championships April 26-28 in French Lick, Ind. The tournament will be played on the renowned Pete Dye Course.
T1. Iowa, 290-287-301 — 878 (+14)
T1. Louisville, 295-292-291 — 878 (+14)
3. Illinois, 296-287-297 — 880 (+16)
4. Purdue, 291-298-292 — 881 (+17)
5. Wichita State, 287-297-303 — 887 (+23)
T6. Indiana, 297-295-297 — 889 (+25)
T6. Kent State, 308-294-287 — 889 (+25)
8. Cleveland State, 301-293-297 — 891 (+27)
9. Toledo, 303-291-300 — 894 (+30)
10. Michigan State, 302-309-288 — 899 (+35)
T11. Akron, 299-297-315 — 911 (+47)
T11. Creighton, 306-301-304 — 911 (+47)
13. Eastern Michigan, 308-302-304 — 914 (+50)
14. Loyola (Ill.), 305-307-308 — 920 (+56)
15. Miami (OH), 316-300-311 — 927 (+63)
16. Northern Illinois, 317-301-316 — 934 (+70)
17. Drake, 314-316-308 — 938 (+74)
18. Chicago State, NR