April 20, 2016
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The University of Iowa men’s golf team begins postseason play this weekend at the Big Ten Championship. The three-day, 54-hole tournament begins on Friday and will be played at the nationally renowned Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana.
Friday, April 22 — 18 holes with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. (CT) off the first and 10th tees.
Saturday, April 23 — 18 holes with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. off the first and 10th tees.
Sunday, April 24 — 18 holes with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. off the first and 10th tees.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring.
BROADCAST ON BTN
The Big Ten Men’s Golf Championship will appear on the Big Ten Network on tape-delay at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, May 1.
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.
All 14 members of the Big Ten Conference will be competing at this weekend’s Big Ten Championship. Four conference schools are ranked in the top 50 of the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings, led by second-ranked Illinois, last year’s Big Ten Tournament Champion. Other top 50 Big Ten schools include, Penn State (30), Purdue (31), and Michigan State (46).
The nationally renowned Victoria National Golf Club plays as a 7,209-yard, par-72. Masterfully set among 418 acres of reclaimed mining land, Victoia National embraces the dramatic landscape, native vegetation and deep, spring-fed lakes of this naturally restored land, and is consistently ranked among the top golf courses in America. Victoria National is also the host site of the PGA Tour Web.com United Leasing Championship.
This weekend’s Hawkeye lineup is yet to be determined.
Iowa has notched top three finishes in each of the last three Big Ten Championships, including a second place finish at last year’s event. Carson Schaake led the Hawkeyes in last year’s event, becoming just the third Hawkeye in program history to claim medalist honors and the first since Brad Klapprott in 1992. Schaake’s 72-hole 284 (-4) was highlighted by a seven-under-par 65 in the opening round of the tournament, the best 18-hole score of his career. Iowa’s first Big Ten medalist was John Jacobs in 1946, and its lone Big Ten title came in 1992.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes tied for second place at their own Hawkeye Invitational last weekend. Iowa carded an 858 (-6; 290, 288, 280) at the two-day, 54-hole event. Three Hawkeyes recorded top 13 finishes, led by senior Nate Yankovich, who capped off a career weekend with a third place finish at six-under-par 210 — the best finish of his career. Yankovich finished below par in all three rounds and was in the top three of the leaderboard throughout the entire weekend. Juniors Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll tied for 10th and 13th, respectively.
YANKOVICH HAVING BIG SENIOR YEAR
Senior Nate Yankovich is having the best season of his Hawkeye career this year. The Blacklick, Ohio, native has produced three top 10 finishes this season after only having two total in the previous three seasons combined. Last weekend’s third place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational marked the best finish of his career. Yankovich is also averaging 71.96 strokes per round this year, which leads the team and is 3.33 strokes better than last year’s average. The 2015-16 season has seen Yankovich card the best 18-hole and 54-hole scores of his career. Yankovich has carded a six-under-par 66 two different times this season with the most recent coming in the middle of March at the Schenkel Invitational. His best 54-hole score came in the fall at the GolfWeek Conference Challenge where he fired a 209 (-7).
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 eight stroke play events this season and is averaging 74.21 strokes per round (24). Walker’s best performance of the year came three 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 71.96 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 back in September.
•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 at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational (April 2-3). 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.
•Yankovich leads Iowa with a team-best 12 rounds of at or below par golf this season. Knoll and Schaake follow right behind with 11 and 10, respectivley. As a team, the Hawkeyes have notched 46 rounds of at or below par golf this season.
A TEAM WITH DEPTH
This season, five Hawkeyes have combined for nine top 10 individual finishes. Senior Nate Yankovich and junior Carson Schaake lead the team with three apiece. Yankovich’s best finish came last weekend at the Hawkeye Invitational where he notched a career-best third place finish, while Schaake’s came in the fall 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.
On Thursday, May 5, at 8:30 a.m. (CT), Golf Channel’s Morning Drive will announce the 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 16-18 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five indviduals at three regionals). 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships.