May 22, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa golfers Steven Ihm, Ian Vandersee, Brian Bullington and Raymond Knoll have been named to the Division I PING All-Midwest Regional Team, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Thursday. Iowa and Illinois were the only two Big Ten teams to have four golfers honored by the GCAA.
“To have four players out of our starting five receive All-Region honors is quite an accomplishment for our program,” said UI head coach Mark Hankins. “It’s nice to see our guys receive the praise they deserve for putting in the time and effort throughout the fall and spring seasons. Steven, Ian, Brian and Raymond are definitely among the best in the Midwest Region and deserve this award. I am proud of each of them as we stressed individual goals this year, and many of them were achieved.”
Ihm, a senior from Peosta, Iowa, captured two individual tournament titles this year (Hawkeye-GRE and Boilermaker Invitational) while leading the Hawkeyes to their sixth consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. Ihm became the first player in program history to earn all-conference honors three times after being named first team All-Big Ten for the second consecutive season. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Championships team following a fifth place finish at the Big Ten Championships.
Ihm led the Hawkeyes in top-10 finishes (six), top-20 finishes (six), rounds at or below par (21) and scoring average, which was the second-best in program history (71.45). Ihm was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week two times this season, and has earned the honor five times in his career in addition to being named Golfweek National Player of the Week on April 21. He holds Iowa’s career scoring average record (72.54) and will make his professional golf debut at the John Deere Classic on July 8.
Vandersee, a junior from West Des Moines, Iowa, earned second team All-Big Ten honors prior to earning his first All-Region honor. Vandersee’s top finish of the season came at the Big Ten Championships, where he tied for seventh (299, +11). He posted the second-most top-10 and top-20 finishes (two, four) on the team, tied for 11th at the Boilermaker Invitational (299, +11) and tied for 17th at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational (212, -1) en route to compiling Iowa’s third-lowest scoring average (73.22).
Bullington, a junior from Frankfort, Ill., also earned second-team All-Big Ten honors prior to his first All-Region Honor. Bullington’s top finish of the season came at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, where he earned third place with the best 54-hole score of his career (206, -7) and was subsequently named Big Ten Golfer of the Week. He tied for fourth at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational (215, -1), notched the second-most rounds at or below par on the team (12), and held the second-lowest scoring average of all Hawkeye golfers (73.14).
Knoll, a freshman from Naperville, Ill., registered his best finish of the season at the Boilermaker Invitational, where he tied for sixth (215, +4). In his final round of play at the event, Knoll carded a 66 (-6), which equaled the fourth-lowest round in program history. Knoll tied for 12th at the Big Ten Championships (300, +12), placed 15th at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational (220, +4), and tied for 26th at the NCAA Regionals (216, E).
Iowa’s four honorees led the Hawkeyes to three tournament titles: The Big Four Championships, Hawkeye-GRE Invitational and the Boilermaker Invitational. The Hawkeyes were one of only three Big Ten teams to qualify for NCAA Regional play in each of the last six seasons, and finished the 2013-14 campaign ranked 41st in the Golfstat rankings. Since 2009, Iowa has garnered 16 All-Region honors. The Hawkeyes last notched four All-Region accolades in 2012.