Sept. 17, 2013
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BURLINGTON, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s golf team tied for sixth in the 15-team Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course. The Hawkeyes posted a 286 (-2) during Tuesday’s final round of 18, improving their team score for the second straight day. Iowa opened the final round in ninth.
Iowa posted a 298 (+10) during the opening round on Sunday and a 291 (+3) during Monday’s second round for a 54-hole total of 875 (+11). The Hawkeyes tied Winthrop for sixth.
Oklahoma won the event with an 857 (-7). Virginia Tech (861), Houston (866), New Mexico (867) and LSU (872) rounded out the top five. LSU’s Stewart Jolly and Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent shared medalist honors (210/-6).
“We settled in nicely the last couple days,” said UI head coach Mark Hankins. “Every guy was in the mix during all three rounds, and that is encouraging. We shot 2-under today and probably could have gone a little bit lower. We picked up a few spots today. It was a good round.”
Ryan Marks was one of three Hawkeyes that concluded the annual three-day tournament with a one-under-par 71. The senior led Iowa each day and finished tied for 13th (216), marking his best career finish as a Hawkeye.
“Ryan came in as our No. 5 man this week, and ended up the low man, so kudos to him,” said Hankins. “We improved each round, and that is extremely important because you should learn each day you are out there. Our guys showed they have the ability to do that and adapt to make their game fit the golf course.”
Senior Steven Ihm and freshman Raymond Knoll also registered a 71. Ihm finished tied for 24th (218), and Knoll — playing in his first collegiate tournament — tied for 42nd (224). Ihm also lowered his score each day, and Knoll finished six strokes better on the final day.
“They were really solid,” said Hankins about the three underclassmen. “It was Voramate’s first team event, Raymond’s first event as a freshman, and Nate has only played one semester. All three were consistent. I was happy to see them improve throughout the week as well; it bodes well for their future.”
The Hawkeyes return to action Sept. 22-23 at the Windon Invitational in Chicago.
“We need to improve our mental game a little; we were a little rusty competing as a team,” said Hankins. “We do not get much time off; we go again on Friday and compete this weekend.”