Men's Golf Aims to Defend Title at Purdue

April 16, 2014

Weekly Release

The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to the Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Golf Course in West Lafayette, Ind., on April 19-20. The 54-hole tournament will begin at 7:45 a.m. (CT) on Saturday with a shotgun start. Participants will play 36 holes on Saturday and 18 holes on Sunday.

The 15-team field includes Iowa, Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, Michigan State, Indiana, Ohio State, Louisville, Drake, Kent State, UCLA, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Wichita State, and Miami (Ohio).

Play will be held at the 7,259-yard, par-72 Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. Designed by world-renowned golf coure architect Pete Dye, the Kampen Course is known as one of the top collegiate courses in the nation.

Steven Ihm, Brian Bullington, Ian Vandersee, Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake make up Iowa’s varsity lineup.

Iowa captured the title in last year’s event, splitting the honor with Louisville while carding a 54-hole score of 878 (+14). Steven Ihm earned medalist honors with a five-under-par score of 211. In 2012, the Hawkeyes finished runner-up behind tournament champion Indiana by only two strokes. Iowa posted an 879 (+15) 54-hole score, while Barrett Kelpin propelled the Hawkeyes with a second place finish.

The University of Iowa men’s golf team dominated its home tournament, the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational, on April 12-13, topping second-place Iowa State by 15 strokes. The Hawkeyes carded a score of 853 (-11), tying the seventh-best 54-hole score in program history. Steven Ihm earned medalist honors at the Hawkeye-GRE for the second consecutive year behind a seven-under-par score of 209. The first place finish is the third of Ihm’s Hawkeye career. Junior Brian Bullington and freshman Carson Schaake tied for fourth individually with a one-under-par score of 215. Bullington knocked in 13 birdies over the course of the tournament while Schaake posted the best finish and 54-hole score of his career. Senior Ryan Marks tied for 10th place with a one-over-par 217 while competing as an individual, the best finish of his career. Freshman Raymond Knoll finished 15th with a four-over-par score of 220. Knoll’s finish was the best of his career. Sophomore Voramate Aussarassakorn posted a career best score of six-over-par (222) and finished 22nd after competing as an individual. Sophomore Nate Yankovich also competed as an indivudal, carding a seven-over-par 223 to tie for 24th, his best finish of the season. Junior Ian Vandersee tied for 34th with a 10-over-par score of 226.

Steven Ihm was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week on April 16 after his championship perfomance at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational. Ihm took home medalist honors at Iowa’s home tournament for the second consecutive year. The win was the third of his Hawkeye career. This is the fourth time Ihm has received the honor.

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.

All eight golfers on the Hawkeye roster have made appearances thus far in the 2013-14 season, including two freshmen, Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake.

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.

Iowa captured two tournament championships in 2013, and has successfully defended one of its titles this spring with a third consecutive crown at the Big Four Championships on March 1. The Hawkeyes won the Big Four Championships in Chandler, Ariz., in February 2013, 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. It again bested Drake and Iowa State in 2014 by scores of 6-0 and 3.5-2.5, respectively, to retain 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 has won twelve tournaments since 2008, had thirteen 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 Finals 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 five years. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.