Men's Golf Ready for NCAA Regionals

May 13, 2014

NCAA Regional Guide

The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo., on May 15-17 for the NCAA Columbia Regional. The Hawkeyes are the No. 6 seed in the regional. The top five teams, along with the top individual not on a qualifying team, will advance to the NCAA Finals, held at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., on May 23-28.

In order of their respective seeding ( national ranking in parentheses), the Columbia Regional consists of Oklahoma State (2), Virginia (11), LSU (14), Arkansas (24), Arizona State (26), Iowa (35), San Diego State (38), Missouri (46), Iowa State (52), Middle Tennessee State (59), Ohio State (63), Denver (129), Loyola (Md.) (149), and Bryant (233).

The Club at Old Hawthorne, founded in 2007, plays host to an NCAA Regional for the first time in its short history. The 7,141-yard, par-72 course has a course rating of 74.8 and a slope rating of 134.

Senior Steven Ihm, juniors Brian Bullington and Ian Vandersee, and freshmen Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake make up Iowa’s varsity lineup. This is Iowa’s fourth straight tournament with the same lineup.

In 2013, Iowa placed 11th at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Tallahassee, Fla. The Hawkeyes were led by Steven Ihm, who tied for 38th individually.

Iowa placed fifth in the 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional, advancing to the NCAA Championships. Ian Vandersee tied for eighth individually, carding a 54-hole score of 212 (-1). The Hawkeyes would tie for 22nd in the Finals in Los Angeles.

In 2011, Iowa tied for fourth in its NCAA Regional, advancing to the NCAA Championships. Chris Brant tied for seventh, posting a 210 (-3) to lead the Hawkeyes. Iowa would go on to finish in a tie for 10th in the Finals in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Hawkeyes tied for sixth in 2010, missing the cut for the NCAA Championships by one stroke. Brad Hopfinger led the charge for Iowa, tying for 11th individually.

In 2009, Iowa qualified for its first NCAA Championship berth since 1995 behind a solid performance from Hopfinger. The then-sophomore tied for 10th place, leading the Hawkeyes to a fifth place finish in the event.

The Hawkeyes captured third place for the second-consecutive year at the Big Ten Championships on May 2-4 in French Lick, Ind., carding a final round score of 284 (-4), the lowest 18-hole score of the tournament, to move from sixth to third on the final day.

Senior Steven Ihm finished fifth individually, despite standing in a tie for 38th after the first round. Ihm carded a career-best seven-over 295 (78,71,76,70) in 72-holes on his way to all-tournament honors. Junior Ian Vandersee finished in a tie for seventh after posting an 11-over 299 (78, 74, 76, 71). The 72-hole score was the best of Vandersee’s career.

Freshman Raymond Knoll tied for 12th, posting a 12-over 300 (78, 74, 75, 73) in his first career 72-hole tournament. Freshman Carson Schaake fired a 15-over 303 (75, 77, 80, 71) over the three days of the tournament to tie for 20th. Schaake’s final round of 71 (-1) tied the best 18-hole score of his career. Junior Brian Bullington posted a 19-over 307 (76, 79, 80, 72) to tie for 39th. Bullington birdied five holes in his final round.

Three Hawkeyes — Senior Steven Ihm and juniors Ian Vandersee and Brian Bullington — earned All-Big Ten honors this season. Ihm was named first team All-Big Ten for the second consecutive year, while Vandersee and Bullington earned second-team All Big-Ten honors for the first time in their careers. Bullington was also Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award nominee. Ihm also earned Big Ten Golfer of the Week honors twice this season, following his individual victories at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational and Boilermaker Invitational. Ihm’s play propelled the Hawkeyes to tournament victories in both events. Bullington received the same honor following his third place finish at the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational. Bullington’s play led the Hawkeyes to a runner-up finish at the event.

Head coach Mark Hankins has now coached individuals to 11 All-Big Ten honors in his seven years at Iowa. The Hawkeyes had only 16 All-Big Ten honorees before Hankins arrived in 2008. Steven Ihm is the first Hawkeye to earn three All-Big Ten honors.

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 stroke. Iowa rallied from a 10-stroke deficit to top the Fighting Illini for its second consecutive Boilermaker Invitational title.

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 six seasons, and will look to advance to the NCAA Finals for the fourth time in six years. The Hawkeyes are 1-of-3 Big Ten teams (Illinois, Northwestern) to be selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last six years.

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 eleven 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-region 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 six 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.