March 16, 2016
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After a two-week long break from its last outing, the University of Iowa men’s golf team continues its spring season with a trip to Statesboro, Georgia, Friday through Sunday (March 18-March 20) for Georgia Southern’s annual Schenkel Invitational. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will be held at the Forest Heights Country Club.
Thursday, March 17 — Practice round (scheduled tee times)
Friday, March 18 — 18 holes, tee times starting at 8 a.m. (CT)
Saturday, March 19 — 18 holes, tee times starting at 8 a.m.
Sunday, March 20 — 18 holes, tee times starting at 7 a.m.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa men’s golf program and to access exclusive coverage, “like” Hawkeye men’s golf on Facebook and follow @IowaHawkeyeGolf on Twitter and Instagram.
Of the 14 teams competing at the Schenkel Invitational, eight teams are ranked inside the top 50 of the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings released on March 11. Auburn, ranked fourth in the country, is the highest-ranked team. In addition to Auburn, the 14-team field includes UAB (44), Boston College (190), Charleston (56), Georgia Southern (70), Georgia State (74), Harvard (84), Kentucky (33), North Carolina (13), North Carolina State (47), North Florida (37), Vanderbilt (10), Wake Forest (17), and Iowa (69), the Big Ten’s lone representative.
All three rounds of the Schenkel Invitational will be played at the Forest Heights Country Club. Playing as a par-72, 6,962 yard course, the Forest Heights Country Club Golf Course is recognized as one of the finest in the Southeast. Forest Heights is the site of the annual Southeastern Amateur Golf Tournament and has hosted the Southern Conference Tournament in addition to many other events.
At the top of the Hawkeye lineup in the number one spot is senior Nate Yankovich followed by junior Raymond Knoll. Freshman Matthew Walker, junior Carson Schaake, and sophomore Sam Meuret round out the Iowa lineup.
This weekend marks only the third time the Hawkeyes will have competed at the Schenkel Invitational since it began in 1971. Iowa’s other two appearances in the event came in 2009 and 2015. In 2009, the Hawkeyes finished in 14th place. Brad Hopfinger fired a 216 (E; 74, 71, 71) to lead the way for the Hawkeyes and finish tied for 11th on the individual leaderboard. In last year’s event, Voramate Aussarassakorn led Iowa to a ninth place finish after carding the best 54-hole score of his career at 212 (-4; 69, 69, 74) to tie for 24th individually.
LAST TIME OUT
Solid third-round performances from senior Nate Yankovich and junior Raymond Knoll helped the Hawkeyes move four spots up the leaderboard and into a tie for eighth place on the final day of the Southwestern Jones Invitational. Yankovich carded a 214 (-2; 72, 74, 68) to tie for eighth place and record his second top 10 finish of the year, while Knoll’s third round performance led him into a tie for 17th place individually. Knoll posted a 54-hole 217 (+1; 73, 75, 69) to record his third top 20 finish of the season and best since winning the GolfWeek Conference Challenge in September.
WALKER, THE FRESHMAN
Matthew Walker has competed in every event for the Hawkeyes this season and is the first true freshman to compete in every fall tournament for the Hawkeyes since Cole Peevler in 2005. The Ottumwa, Iowa, native competed in four events, averaging 73.67 strokes per round. He carded an even par 72, his lowest 18-hole score of the year, at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge. Walker’s best finish came at the David Toms Intercollegiate, where he fired a three-round 228 (+12) to tie for 28th.
OFF THE FIRST TEE
? Senior Nate Yankovich leads the Hawkeyes, averaging a career-best 72.60 strokes per round this season. Junior Carson Schaake finished with the second-best stroke average in program history last year (71.17)
? Junior Raymond Knoll has been Iowa’s top finisher two times this season, which includes his first collegiate title at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge.
? Iowa’s best finish of the season came at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge. The Hawkeyes took home the tournament title with a 54-hole 842 (-22) — the fifth best 54-hole score in program history.
? Iowa’s lowest round of the season came in the second round of the GolfWeek Conference Challenge (273; -15). Yankovich and Schaake both carded a six-under-par 66 to pace the Hawkeyes.
A TEAM WITH DEPTH
This season, four Hawkeyes have combined for six top-10 individual finishes. Senior Nate Yankovich and junior Carson Schaake lead the team with two apiece. Yankovich’s best finish came at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge where he tied for fifth, while Schaake’s came at the David Toms Intercollegiate after tying for fourth. Junior Raymond Knoll — the GolfWeek Conference Challenge co-medalist — and sophomore Sam Meuret each notched one top-10 finish in the fall.
The Hawkeyes ended the fall season only competing in four events after the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate was canceled due to unplayable course conditions and potential flooding resulting from effects of Hurricane Patricia. The highlight of the fall came at Iowa’s own GolfWeek Conference Challenge, in which the Hawkeyes claimed the team title and junior Raymond Knoll earned co-medalist honors. As a team, the Hawkeyes averaged 75.25 strokes per round in the fall and tallied 15 rounds of at or below par golf. Junior Carson Schaake led the team with five, including a fourth place finish at the David Toms Intercollegiate.
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. Knoll’s performance at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge earned him Big Ten Co-Golfer of the Week honors on Sept. 30.
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).
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 Schenkel Invitational, the Hawkeyes take a week off before heading to Tempe, Arizona, for the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole tournament begins on April 2.