Hawkeyes Conclude Season at NCAA Regionals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —The University of Iowa men’s golf team bowed out of the 2016 NCAA Championships on Wednesday afternoon following a 10th place finish at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Hawkeyes carded a three-day, 54-hole total of 925 (+61; 302, 314, 309).

Weather conditions throughout the week weren’t ideal. Tuesday’s second round saw steady winds of 25 mph with gusts reaching over 35 mph, while Wednesday’s final round saw temperatures reach as low as 40 degrees in addition to a light rain that started midway through the round.

For the second day in a row, no teams shot below par, with TCU carding the lowest round of the day at 291 (+3). No. 14 Arizona State won the event, carding an 876 (+12; 286, 296, 294). The Sun Devils’ John Rahm claimed medalist honors, shooting 212 (-4; 69, 71, 72). Rahm was the only golfer in the 75-player field to finish under par.

The other four teams to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this month include TCU (+24; 292, 305, 291), No. 6 USC (+31; 291, 311, 293), No. 16 South Florida (+35; 289, 311, 299), and No. 22 San Diego State (+40; 293, 312, 299). San Diego State defeated No. 25 Texas A&M in a two-hole playoff to win the fifth qualifying spot.

Junior Carson Schaake posted Iowa’s best finish, carding a 224 (+8; 74, 78, 72) to tie for 11th individually — his fifth top 20 finish of the year. The Omaha, Nebraska, native made par or better on 15 holes in Wednesday’s final round, including four birdies. Schaake fell three strokes shy of qualifying as an individual for the NCAA Championships.

“My ball striking was really good today, which is what I worked on after the first day,” said Schaake. “I knew my putting was right there and I just had to hit the ball better to score a little better. Today, I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances.

“This gives me confidence going into the summer. These were really tough conditions and there were a lot of good teams here. I am excited for the summer season.”

Tying for 22nd place was Raymond Knoll. The junior strung together a three-round 227 (+11; 77, 72, 78). Knoll’s six-over-par performance in Wednesday’s final round was highlighted by birdies on holes 17, 18, and six. He led the Hawkeyes with 10 birdies throughout the 54-hole event — the fifth most among all 75 competitors.

Freshman Matthew Walker finished 48th after carding a 234 (+18; 75, 82, 77). Walker made par or better on 12 holes in the third round, including a birdie on hole one.

Competing in the final collegiate event of his Hawkeye career, senior Nate Yankovich tied for 61st after shooting a 241 (+25; 76, 82, 83). The second team All-Big Ten honoree competed in every event for the Hawkeyes this season, notching three top 10 finishes, including a career-best, third-place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational in April. The Blacklick, Ohio, native averaged 72.80 strokes per round this season (30).

Competing in his second consecutive NCAA regional, sophomore Sam Meuret tied for 72nd. The Brunswick, Nebraska, native carded an 82 (+10) in Wednesday’s final round, pushing his 54-hole total to 251 (+35, 87, 82, 82).

Iowa competed in NCAA Regional competition for the eighth consecutive year, joining Illinois as the only Big Ten programs to compete in regional play in each of the last eight seasons.