April 17, 2016
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Four Hawkeyes shot below par in Sunday’s final round of the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational to lead the University of Iowa men’s golf team into a tie for second place with Iowa State. Iowa carded a two-day, 54 hole total of 858 (-6; 290, 288, 280).
Kansas was crowned tournament champion after putting together a three-round 849 (-15; 282, 291, 276).
“It was a strong effort by the guys and a solid final round,” said UI head coach Tyler Stith. “Today will give us the momentum we need heading into next weekend’s Big Ten Tournament.”
Iowa was led by senior Nate Yankovich, who recorded the best finish of his career and third top-10 finish of the season, taking third place at 210 (-6; 68, 71, 71). Yankovich finished one-under-par in Sunday’s final round, marking the fifth time in six rounds he has finished below par. The Blacklick, Ohio, native finished four strokes behind tournament medalist Ruben Sondjaja of Iowa State and just one stroke behind second place finisher Francois Lagraulet of UMKC.
“I am very proud of Nate,” said Stith. “He was solid all weekend and showed a lot of leadership.”
Junior Carson Schaake jumped eight spots on the individual leaderboard following Sunday’s third round performance to tie for 10th at 215 (-1; 74, 72, 69) — his third top-10 finish of the year and first of the spring. Schaake’s three-under-par 69 tied for Iowa’s lowest score of the day and was highlighted by four birdies and an eagle on hole 15.
“I wasn’t hitting the driver very well, but I was able to get up and down from some tough places,” said Schaake. “I just kept grinding and made birdies on the holes you need to birdie.
“I birdied my first two holes of the day, 5 and 6, with pretty solid shots to the pin, to the five-foot range; I birdied 10 by making about a 30-footer. My biggest hole was 16; I hit it in the left trees off the tee, punched out short of the green, hit my third shot above the hole, which is impossible. I had the most impossible putt, and I made it.”
Junior Raymond Knoll finished one stroke behind Schaake, tying for 13th at even par 216 (75, 72, 69). Like Schaake, Knoll carded four birdies and an eagle on hole 15 during Sunday’s final round, giving him his 10th round of at or below par golf this season.
“Starting with a bogey on six is never fun,” said Knoll. “The par 5’s out here are where you can make birdie. You just have to stay focused. We play here so much, even if you make bogey, you know you are going to have chances at birdie. I birdied the par 5’s mainly. Having an iron into the par 5’s is a good thing, always good when you can two putt for birdie, or make eagle, and we were able to do that a lot this weekend.”
Freshman Matthew Walker notched his second best finish of the year after tying for 24th at three-over-par 219 (75, 73, 71). Walker made par or better on 15 holes in Sunday’s final round, which includes birdies on holes 6, 10, 13, and 15.
Competing as an individual, senior Voramate Aussarassakorn tied for 42nd after rounds of 75, 71, and 78 (224, +8), while sophomore Sam Meuret tied for 45th at 225 (+9; 73, 77, 75). Freshman Aaron DeNucci, also competing as an individual, tied for 68th after rounds of 76, 80, and 75.
“We take momentum from a tournament like this,” said Schaake. “We are going to a tough tournament next week on a big boy golf course. There are a lot of tough holes, but also holes that you can birdie. We go into next week after making birdies today, and take that momentum with us to next week and play solid golf.”
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.