April 16, 2016
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team wraps up regular season play this weekend, hosting the 23rd annual Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole tournament begins on Saturday and will be played at Iowa City’s Finkbine Golf Course.
Friday, April 15 — Practice round with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. (CT)
Saturday, April 16 — 36 holes, shotgun start at 9 a.m.
Sunday, April 17 — 18 holes, shotgun start at 9 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.
In addition to Iowa, the 14 teams competing at this weekend’s Hawkeye Invitational include Denver, DePaul, Idaho, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Alabama, Soth Dakota State, SMU, UMKC, and Wichita State.
Home to both the Iowa men’s and women’s golf teams, Finkbine Golf Course is prized by the University and Iowa City community alike. A tremendous test of skill, this scenic golf course stretches over 7,200 yards of rolling Iowa terrain, and plays to a par 72 with a USGA course rating of 74.6 and slope rating of 134. Finkbine has been the home to numerous NCAA tournaments plus the Amana VIP Classic, the 1991 Hogan Tour, and 1992 and 1993 Nike Tour Hawkeye Classic Tournaments. More recently, the course has hosted the 2010 Iowa State Women’s Amateur, 2013 Iowa Match Play and 2014 Iowa State Men’s Amateur.
All seven Hawkeyes will be competing at this weekend’s Hawkeye Invitational. At the top of the Hawkeye lineup in the number one spot is freshman Matthew Walker followed by junior Raymond Knoll. Senior Nate Yankovich, junior Carson Schaake, and sophomore Sam Meuret round out the Iowa lineup. Senior Voramate Aussarassakorn and freshman Aaron DeNucci will both be competing as individuals.
Iowa has endured its fair share of success at the Hawkeye Invitational, winning 14 times in the events 22-year history. The Hawkeyes have won the event four times in the last six years, with their most recent title coming in 2014. Led by Steven Ihm, who captured his second consecutive Hawkeye-GRE Invitational title at 209 (-7; 69, 71, 69), Iowa was crowned tournament champions of the 2014 Hawkeye Invitational. In last year’s event, the Hawkeyes took third place after carding a 54-hole team total of 853 (-11; 284, 280, 289). All five Hawkeyes finished in the top-25 individually, led by Carson Schaake who tied for fourth at 210 (-6; 73, 66, 71).
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes took fifth place at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational two weeks ago. Iowa carded an 839 (-13; 277, 277, 285) at the two-day tournament, marking the lowest 54-hole score of the season and Iowa’s third-best 54-hole score since 1985. Three Hawkeyes recorded top-20 finishes at the ASU Thunderbird, led by freshman Matthew Walker who capped off a career weekend with a third-round 70 (-1). The Ottumwa, Iowa, native finished below par in all three rounds, including a career-best 67 (-4) in the second round, on his way to a seventh place finish at 206 (-7; 69, 67, 70) — the best finish of his career.
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 has competed in all seven events this season and is averaging 74.38 strokes per round (21). Walker’s best performance of the year came two weeks ago at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, where he fired a three-round 206 (-7) to finish seventh — a career best. His 206 (-7; 69, 67, 70) at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational was also his best 54-hole total of the year. Walker’s four-under-par 67 in the second round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational was his lowest 18-hole score of the year.
OFF THE FIRST TEE
? Senior Nate Yankovich leads the Hawkeyes, averaging a career-best 72.24 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). ? Iowa carded its lowest 54-hole total of the season last weekend at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The Hawkeyes put together a three-round 839 (-13; 277, 277, 285) which marks Iowa’s third lowest 54-hole score since 1985.
? 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.
? Knoll and Yankovich are tied with a team-best nine rounds of at or below par golf this season. Schaake is right behind with eight of his own. As a team, the Hawkeyes have notched 37 rounds of at or below par golf this season.
A TEAM WITH DEPTH
This season, five Hawkeyes have combined for seven 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, and freshman Matthew Walker have each notched one top-10 finish.
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.
The Hawkeyes begin postseason play on April 22-24 at the 2016 Big Ten Tournament. The three-day, 72-hole tournament will be played at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana.