Feb. 14, 2014
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BRADENTON, Fla. – The fourth-seeded University of Iowa men’s golf team advanced to the semifinal round of the Big Ten Match Play Championships after defeating Ohio State on Friday at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
The match ended in a 2.5-2.5 tie, but the Hawkeyes bested Ohio State by winning the first tiebreaker on total holes won, 10-7.
Ohio State defeated Nebraska in the first round of the event to advance to its second round matchup with Iowa. The Hawkeyes received a first-round bye as one of the top four seeds.
Freshman Raymond Knoll won his No. 5 match over OSU freshman Addison Coll, 3 & 1. Knoll battled back after facing a two-hole deficit through seven holes.
“I was really excited to get out there today,” said Knoll. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow and getting into the championship match.”
Senior Ryan Marks halved the No. 4 match with OSU freshman Clark Engle. Marks also faced a deficit early on, as he was down two holes after 10.
Junior Brian Bullington lost the No. 3 match to Tee-K Kelly, 2-up. Bullington pulled within one hole heading to No. 18, but was unable to halve the match.
Senior Steven Ihm won the No. 2 match against Frederik Hammer, 7 & 5. Ihm dominated the match, losing just one of the 13 holes he played. He opened play with a birdie on his first hole and was in command throughout the match.
“You can’t be content with being two-up or three-up,” said Ihm. “You’ve got to keep your head down and try to make birdies, and I did that today.”
Junior Ian Vandersee dropped the No. 1 match to Boo Timko, 5 & 3. Vandersee held a two-hole lead after six before Timko recorded four birdies over a five hole stretch in the middle of the round to take control.
“I think we’re fully functioning, all five guys playing well,” said head coach Mark Hankins. “Hopefully that will be enough to advance past Michigan tomorrow and hopefully get to the championship round.”
The Hawkeyes will play two additional matches on Sunday, meeting Michigan in the semifinal round on Saturday morning. The eighth-seeded Wolverines defeated top-seeded Illinois on Friday afternoon, 3-2. Live stats are available for all of Saturday’s action at http://www.ajga.org/big10MPC/index.asp.