Men's Golf Travels to Big Ten Championships

April 30, 2014

Weekly Release

The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to the Big Ten Championships at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind., on May 2-4. The nationally-renowned course plays host to the conference championship for the third consecutive year. The 72-hole tournament will begin with the first round of play starting at 7 a.m. (CT) on May 2, which will be followed by the second round. The third round begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. (CT), while Sunday’s final round will begin at 7 a.m. (CT).

The Big Ten claims four of the top-49 spots in the Golfstat Rankings, led by Illinois (11), Iowa (35), Purdue (43), and Northwestern (49). The remaining eight Big Ten teams in the field are Ohio State (60), Minnesota (73), Michigan (80), Indiana (85), Michigan State (134), Nebraska (146), Penn State (151), and Wisconsin (165).

The Pete Dye Course, named after the legendary golf course architect that designed it, plays as a par-72, 7,152 yard course from the championship tees. In 2009, Golf Digest named it the “Best New Course in America”. The course, which is built into Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, has a course rating of 80.0 and a slope rating of 148.

Steven Ihm, Brian Bullington, Ian Vandersee, Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake make up Iowa’s varsity lineup. This is Iowa’s third straight week with the same lineup.

In 2013, Iowa captured third place at the Big Ten Championships. The Hawkeyes never fell below third place in the three days of the tournament. Steven Ihm tied for 13th individually. The Hawkeyes earned sixth place in the 2012 Big Ten Championships, led by Chris Brant, who tied for 10th individually. In 2011, Iowa finished third, led by Chris Brant, who earned runner-up honors.

The Hawkeyes successfully defended their Boilermaker Invitational title, capturing their second tournament title in as many weeks. Steven Ihm also repeated as medalist at the tournament, earning his second straight tournament victory. Iowa mounted a 10-stroke comeback on the final day of play behind the second best 18-hole team score in school history with a 14-under-par 274. Ihm began the final round in 10th place before posting an eight-under-par 64 in his final round to capture the individual title. The Iowa native birdied seven of his first eight holes on the final day en route to the best round of his career. Freshman Raymond Knoll ended the tournament in a tie for sixth, the best finish of his career. Knoll’s bogey-free final round, a six-under-par 66, was also the best of his career. Junior Ian Vandersee finished in a tie for 11th after posting a two-over-par total score of 218. Vandersee birdied 11 holes over three rounds. Junior Brian Bullington carded an eight-over par 224 in three rounds, finishing in a tie for 39th. Freshman Carson Schaake finished 51st after firing an 11-over par 227.

Steven Ihm was named Co-Big Ten Golfer of the Week on April 23 for the second week in a row after his championship perfomance at the Boilermaker Invitational. Ihm took home medalist honors for the second consecutive year at Purdue’s home tournament, propelling Iowa to its second consecutive win at the event. The win was the fourth of his Hawkeye career. This is the fifth time Ihm has received the honor.

The Hawkeyes were named the Golfweek Team of the Week after their team victory at the Boilermaker Invitational. Iowa finished with a total score of 865 (+1) to top conference foe Illinois by one sroke. Golfweek also tabbed Steven Ihm as their Player of the Week, following his repeat championship at the Boilermaker Invitational.

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.

Iowa has recorded top finishes in all five of its events this spring. The Hawkeyes placed fourth at the Big Ten Match Play Championships, won the Big Four Championship, and finished runner-up at the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational before winning the Hawkeye-GRE and Boilermaker Invitational.

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 both titles this spring. The Hawkeyes captured their third consecutive crown at the Big Four Championships on March 1 and mounted a comeback victory at the Boilermaker Invitational. Iowa also picked up a victory at its home tournament, the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational.

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.