April 16, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Following Saturday’s first and second rounds of the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational, the University of Iowa men’s golf team is in fourth place (578, +2), just five strokes behind Kansas (573, -3), the tourney leader following 36 holes of play.
The Hawkeyes are a single stroke behind Iowa State and Kansas State and one stroke ahead of SMU heading into the final round. Sunday’s action begins at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start.
“The guys worked hard out there,” said Iowa head coach Tyler Stith. “We need to learn from today and shift our focus to tomorrow. We’re in a good position.”
Senior Nate Yankovich led Iowa on Saturday, carding first and second round totals of 68 (-4) and 71 (-1). Four of his last five rounds have been par or better, a team best. His four-under-par 68 in the first round was highlighted by four birdies and a double eagle on hole 11. The Blacklick, Ohio, native is in second place heading into the final round, just one stroke behind Francois Lagraulet (138, -6) of Missouri-Kansas City. Yankovich is looking for his third top-10 finish of the year. His career low round is 66 (twice).
“Nate played very well today,” said Stith. “He controlled his ball well in the wind and gave himself a lot of good opportunities. He had a slip up midway through the second round, but showed a lot of character with how he responded with three birdies.”
“I played extremely solid today,” said Yankovich. “I putted really well. I have been putting well the past few weeks; I putted well at ASU in our last tournament, and putted extremely well today. I hit a lot of greens, and when I missed a green I was usually able to get up and down.
“I smoked my drive down the fairway, and I had 213 yards in,” said Yankovich, in describing his deuce on the par five. “I hit a six iron; I knew I had to flight it high to keep it on the green. It landed just barely on the green, trickled over the slope, and then just disappeared and everyone went nuts. I was able to see it go in, it was awesome.”
After shooting two-over-par 74 in the first round, junior Carson Schaake found his stroke in the second round, carding a 72. The Omaha, Nebraska, native is tied for 18th after recording birdies on holes 6, 7, 9, 15 and 16 in the afternoon.
Competing as an individual, senior Voramate Aussarassakorn is tied with Schaake after rounds of 75 and 71. The one-under par second round marks his low round of the season and his second round under par this year.
Junior Raymond Knoll is tied for 22nd after rounds of 75 and 72 (147, +2), using birdies on 2, 6 and 11 to shoot even par in the second round. Freshman Matthew Walker (75, 73, +4) is tied for 28th and sophomore Sam Meuret (73-77, +6) is tied for 42nd. Freshman Aaron DeNucci, also competing as an individual, sits at 156 after rounds of 76 and 80.
Play at the Hawkeye-GRE Invitational concludes on Sunday morning with a final round of 18 holes, beginning at 9 a.m. (CT) via shotgun start at Finkbine Golf Course. Live stats are available at golfstat.com.