Oct. 14, 2015
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team travels to Atlanta to compete in the 10th annual U.S. Collegiate Championship, hosted by Georgia Tech, Friday through Sunday. The three-day tournament will be held at The Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia. Live stats will be available via golfstat.com. Each round will begin at 7 a.m. (CT).
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Of the 17 teams competing at this weekend’s U.S. Collegiate Championship, seven are ranked in the current top 10, 12 are in the top 25, and 15 are in the top 50 of the latest GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings released on Oct. 12. In addition to 48th-ranked Iowa, the Big Ten’s lone participant, the field includes Auburn (2), Clemson (20), East Tennessee State (50), Florida State (4), Georgia Tech (17), Kent State (53), LSU (26), Mississippi (70), Oklahoma (9), Oklahoma State (5), Southern California (8), Stanford (6), Texas (12), UCLA (22), Virginia (25), Wake Forest (3).
This weekend’s three-day event will be played at The Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia, a 7,017 yard par 72. The club’s Lakeside Course was awarded “Best New Private Course in America” in 1991 by Golf Digest. Lakeside is famous for its accuracy demands on approach shots and its firm, fast greens.
This weekend marks the fifth time the Hawkeyes will compete at the annual U.S. Collegiate Championship, having competed in each of the last four seasons. Iowa’s best finish came in 2011 when senior Barrett Kelpin and sophomore Steven Ihm each finished in the top 10 individually to lead the Hawkeyes to a fifth place tie.
At the top of the Hawkeye line-up in the number one spot is junior Carson Schaake followed by senior Nate Yankovich. Junior Raymond Knoll, senior Voramate Aussarassakorn and freshman Matthew Walker round out the Iowa lineup.
A TEAM WITH DEPTH
Through three events this season, four Hawkeyes have combined for five top-10 individual finishes. Junior Carson Schaake leads the team with two after tying for seventh at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge (Sept. 14-16) and finishing fourth at last weekend’s David Toms Intercollegiate (Oct. 10-11). Senior Nate Yankovich, junior Raymond Knoll — the GolfWeek Conference Challenge co-medalist — and sophomore Sam Meuret each have one top-10 finish this season.
QUOTING COACH STITH
“This is one of the more competitive fields that we’ll see all year. We have played in this event over the last few years and done quite well. This is a great opportunity for us and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”
A HISTORIC WEEKEND
The Hawkeyes claimed the team title at the 2015 GolfWeek Conference Challenge (Sept. 25-27), carding a 54-hole total of 842 (-22) — the fifth-best 54-hole score in program history. The title was the first for Iowa under the guidance of second-year head coach Tyler Stith, and first since winning the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational on April 13, 2014.
Junior Raymond Knoll claimed co-medalist honors with a 54-hole total of 205 (-11; 66, 67, 72) — the lowest three-round total in program history. The title was the first of Knoll’s collegiate career.
Senior Nate Yankovich and junior Carson Schaake each finished within the top 10. Yankovich tied for fifth place with a three-round 209 (-7; 73, 66, 70). His second-round 66 was the best 18-hole performance of his career. Schaake tied for seventh, finishing the weekend with a three-round 210 (-6; 73, 66, 71).
Yankovich, a senior, competed in seven tournaments last year, averaging 75.29 strokes per round. The Blacklick, Ohio, native was second on the team with four top-20 finishes last season, including a season-best 10th place finish at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational.
Knoll, a junior from Naperville, Illinois, earned second team All-Big Ten and Division I PING All-Midwest Regional team honors in 2015. He was Iowa’s top finisher in two events last year.
A Division I PING All-Midwest Regional Team selection, Schaake carried a team-best stroke average of 71.17 — the second-best total in program history. He provided Iowa’s top individual finish in 7-of-10 stroke play tournaments, while recording four top-10 finishes and 18 rounds at or below par. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, and was co-champion at last year’s Big Ten Tournament.
7 STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Iowa has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last seven seasons, joining Illinois as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last seven seasons. Iowa has advanced to the NCAA Championship finals three times in the last seven years (2009, 2011, 2012).
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Iowa has won 12 tournaments since 2008 and has had 15 individual medalists since 2009, including Carson Schaake, who was crowned individual co-champion at last year’s Big Ten Championships and Raymond Knoll who won this year’s GolfWeek Conference Challenge. The Hawkeyes have also had three All-Americans since 2008. Nineteen Iowa players have been named to the all-region team since 2009. Last season, Brian Bullington, Knoll, and Schaake each earned Division I PING All-Midwest Regional honors.
Following the U.S. Collegiate Championship, the Hawkeyes conclude their fall season at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in Dallas. The two-day tournament, hosted by Baylor, begins Oct. 26.