Oct. 8, 2013
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to Durham, N.C., to compete in the fourth annual Rod Myers Invitational, hosted by Duke University, Oct. 12-13. The tournament will be held at The Duke University Golf Club.
The 11-team field is headed by host and last year’s tournament champion, Duke, who has won two of the last three Rod Myers Invitational tournaments. In order of their 2012 finish, the remaining field consists of North Carolina, Charlotte, Liberty, Iowa, Tulsa, Baylor, Northwestern, East Carolina, Pacific, and newcomer Ohio State, who did not participate last year.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES AT THE ROD MYERS INVITATIONAL
The Hawkeyes earned a fifth place finish last season at the Rod Myers Invitational. Steven Ihm led the charge as he tied for 10th place, carding an even-par three-round total. Joseph Winslow tied for 18th, Ian Vandersee tied for 20th, Brian Bullington tied for 35th, and Ryan Marks placed 50th. In 2011, Iowa earned a fourth place finish as Ihm finished runner-up. The Hawkeyes won the event in 2010.
The Duke University Golf Club, which hosed the 1962 and 2001 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Golf Champonships, and will play as a 7,136-yard, par 72 for the 2013 Rod Myers Invititational.
Eleven players in the Rod Myers Invitational are currently ranked in the GolfStat Cup Standings. North Carolina State’s Albin Choi, ranked No. 10, headlines the field. Steven Ihm currently holds the No. 83 ranking in the standings.
The Hawkeyes finished 9th out of 16 teams at the Windon Memorial Classic in Lake Forest, Ill., on Sept. 22-23. Iowa climbed two spots from its first day position of 11th place. Seniors Steven Ihm and Ryan Marks led the Hawkeyes in scoring, posting scores of 214 (-2) and 223 (+7) respectively. Junior Joseph Winslow vaulted himself into a tie for 43rd place, 15 spots ahead of his first day 58th place finish. Junior Brian Bullington also finished in 43rd. Sophomore Voramate Aussarassakorn tied for 61st with a three-round total of 229 (+13).
FIVE STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Since taking command of the University of Iowa men’s golf program in 2007, head coach Mark Hankins has established the Hawkeyes as a competitive force in collegiate golf. Iowa has advanced to NCAA Regionals each of the past five seasons, and has advanced to the NCAA Finals three of the last five seasons.
IHM WINS SUNNEHANNA AMATEUR
Senior Steven Ihm joined elite company as he won the 60th Annual Sunnehanna Amateur on June 16th. PGA TOUR professionals such as Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, and Lucas Glover won the same event early in their careers. The Peosta, Iowa, native shot an eight-under par (272) for the four-round tournament, winning by two strokes over Cory Whitsett of Alabama. A month later, Ihm earned a sponsor’s exemption to the John Deere Classic, making his first career PGA TOUR appearance. The senior birdied his first hole of the tournament, and is believed to be the first UI golfer to earn a sponsor’s exemption to the Silvis, Ill. tournament.
THREE HAWKEYES TO WATCH
Senior Steven Ihm and juniors Brian Bullington and Joseph Winslow were named to the 2013-14 Big Ten Men’s Golfers to Watch List. Ihm, currently 46th in the Men’s World Amateur Golf rankings, had the lowest scoring average (71.4) for the Hawkeyes during the spring season, playing nine rounds at or below par. The Peosta, Iowa, native played in his first PGA TOUR event over the summer after earning a sponsor’s exemption to the John Deere Classic. Bullington, a native of Frankfort, Ill., finished the 2013 regular season with three-straight top-24 finishes, compiling a 73.92 spring stroke average. Winslow was a second team All-Big Ten selection, a PING All-Midwest Region honoree, and was named to the All-Big Ten Championship Team in 2013 as a sophomore. His 73.48 stroke average ranked 10th best in program history.
DEFENDING THE HARDWARE
Iowa captured two tournament titles in 2013, and will return to both venues to defend their championships this season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Four Championships in Chandler, Ariz., last February, with five players going 2-0 in match play. Iowa beat Drake, 6-0, in the first round and defeated Iowa State, 5-1, in the final round to take the title. Iowa’s second title came at the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., tying for first-place out of 18 teams. Senior Steven Ihm earned co-medalist honors just one week after medaling at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
The Hawkeyes had the 37th-ranked strength of schedule in the nation in 2013, according to Golfweek.com. This year’s schedule is nearly identical to the 2013 slate, with the only changes coming in the addition of the Windon Memorial Classic (hosted by Northwestern) in Lake Forest, Ill., and the ASU Thunderbird Classic (hosted by Arizona State) in Tempe, Ariz.
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Iowa has won eleven tournaments since 2008, had twelve individual medalists since 2009 and has had three All-Americans since 2008. Last season, senior Steven Ihm and junior Joseph Winslow became the 11th and 12th Iowa players to be named to the all-regional team since 2009.
HEAD COACH Mark Hankins
Head coach Mark Hankins is in his seventh season as head coach. He has guided the Hawkeyes to five straight NCAA Regional appearances, and to the NCAA Championships three times in the past five years. Iowa was ranked 155th when Hankins took over the program in 2008, yet the Hawkeyes have been consistently ranked within the top-60 for the past three years. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.