Iowa Sets Sights on Big Ten Championships

April 23, 2013

Weekly Release

The University of Iowa men’s golf team begins postseason play at the Big Ten Championships on April 26-28 in French Lick, Ind. The tournament will be held on the renowned Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort, a neutral site, for the second straight season. The first and second rounds begin Friday at 7 a.m. (CT). Saturday’s third round begins at 8 a.m., while the final round is slated for 7 a.m. Sunday. Live results are available at

The Big Ten boasts three teams ranked in the top-54 of the Golfstat Rankings, led by Northwestern (33), Illinois (34) and Iowa (54). Behind Iowa in order of ranking is Indiana (67), Purdue (80), Ohio State (86), Michigan State (96), Minnesota (109), Michigan (116), Nebraska (140), Penn State (144) and Wisconsin (166).

The field consists of nine players ranked in the top-180 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Iowa’s Steven Ihm is the highest ranked player in the Big Ten, checking in at No. 51.

Steven Ihm, Joseph Winslow, Brian Bullington, Ian Vandersee and Nate Yankovich will be in action. It’s Iowa’s third straight week with the same lineup.

The nationally recognized Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort plays to 8,102 yards from the championship tees. This par 72 was built into Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest and has a course rating of 80.0 and a slope rating of 148. Considered one of Dye’s best inland courses, the French Lick track was named 2009’s `Best New Public Course in America’ by multiple publications.

Junior Steven Ihm became the first Hawkeye to win back-to-back medalist honors since 1970 after his title at the Boilermaker Invitational.

The Peosta, Iowa, native played all three of his rounds under par to close with a three-round score of 211 (-5), sharing medalist honors with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist. Ihm also shot a five-under, 211, last week at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational.

Ihm is the first Hawkeye to win consecutive tournaments since Brad Schuchat won the Indiana Sesquicentennial Invitational and the Northern Intercollegiate in back-to-back tournaments in the 1970 spring season.

Iowa claimed its first tournament team title of the season Sunday at the Boilermaker Invitational on the Kampen Course. The Hawkeyes shared the title with Louisville with a 54-hole score of 878 (+14).

Iowa entered the final round in first place with opening rounds of 290 (+2) and 287 (-1). The Hawkeyes shot a final round 301 (+13) to prevail in a tightly contested battle.

The Hawkeyes were led by a pair of top-four finishes. Sophomore Joseph Winslow was five strokes off Ihm’s pace, tying for fourth at even par (216). Bullington tied for 24th (223/+7), Vandersee tied for 49th (230/+14), and Yankovich tied for 66th (235/+19).

In three of the past four stroke play tournaments, a Hawkeye student-athlete has claimed medalist honors.

Vandersee started the streak in Iowa’s fall finale, tying for first in the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate at seven-under par (206). Ihm has kept the streak alive with back-to-back titles at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational and the Boilermaker Invitational.

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.

Ihm has provided Iowa’s top individual finish in 7-of-8 stroke play tournaments this season. He has played eight of his last nine rounds under par, and has a team-best 14 rounds at or below par. He has placed in the top-16 of each tournament this spring, and has four top-10 finishes on the season. Ihm currently holds a 71.96 stroke average. Ihm is the highest ranked player in the Big Ten, ranking 46th in the Golfstat Cup Standings.

Iowa finished sixth last year at the Big Ten Championships with a 72-hole score of 1203 (+51). Illinois claimed the title with a 1175 (+23). Chris Brant was Iowa’s top finisher, tying for 10that nine-over (297).

Steven Ihm and Ian Vandersee will return to the Big Ten Championships this year after making their debut last season. Ihm tied for 28th place (308/+20) and Vandersee placed 46th (313/+25).

The Hawkeyes have a 289.33 stroke average this spring — a full six strokes better than their fall average. Iowa enters the postseason after consecutive top-two finishes.

The Hawkeyes have the 19th-ranked strength of schedule in the nation, according to

Every player on the roster has seen action in at least two tournaments this season, while three golfers have played all 24 rounds (Ihm, Bullington, Vandersee).

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 nine tournaments since 2008, had nine individual medalists since 2009 and has had three All-Americans since 2008.

HEAD COACH Mark Hankins
Head coach Mark Hankins is in 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 NCAA Regionals are held May 16-18 at a site to be determined. Iowa will be looking for its fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.