The University of Iowa men’s golf team opens the 2016 fall season in Minneapolis at the Gopher Invitational on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, Sept. 10 — 36 holes, tee times starting at 7:30 off tees one and ten
Sunday, Sept. 11 — 18 holes, tee times starting at 7:20 off tees one and ten
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring. Links can be found on the men’s golf schedule page on hawkeyesports.com
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.
Iowa is joined by an elite field including, Arkansas, California, Charlotte, Kent State, Michigan State, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, San Diego State, SMU, St. John’s, and Washington. Of the 14 teams competing, two are ranked in the top 25 of the GCAA Coaches Poll. Oklahoma sits at 10 and California follows close behind T-11. Oklahoma won last year’s event. The Sooners’ Max McGreevy claimed medalist honors.
A par-71, stretching 7,152 yards, Windsong Farm Golf Club, opened in 2003 and is one of Minnesota’s top golf courses.
At the top of the Hawkeye lineup in the number one spot is sophomore Mathhew Walker. Following him are seniors Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll and freshmen Ryoto Furuya and Jack Simpson. Junior Sam Meuret and freshman Benton Weinberg will be competing as individuals at Pioneer Creek Golf Course.
QUOTING COACH STITH
“Our expectations are really high. We have three of our top performers back from last season and they all have a lot of tournament experience. We also have four freshmen who are all very competitive. The field for this weekend’s tournament is really strong, it’s one of the reasons we like to go to this tournament. There are eight-to-ten teams competing in this event that will make an appearance at the NCAA Tournament this year. I expect us to be in contention and to be in a position to win going into Sunday’s final round.”
3 HAWKEYES ON B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST
Seniors Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake, and sophomore Matthew Walker were named to the 2016 Big Ten Men’s Golf Preseason Watch List.
Knoll competed in every tournament for the Hawkeyes last year, averaging 73 strokes per round. He led Iowa with 10 rounds of at or below par golf in the spring. Knoll finished in the top 20 in four events in the spring, including a fifth place finish at the Big Ten Championships.
Schaake also played in every event his junior year, averaging 72.97 strokes per round. He finished at or below par in eight rounds and was Iowa’s top finisher in each of the last three spring events.
Walker competed in every tournament last season, becoming the first true freshman to do so since 1992 (Sean McCarty). Walker averaged 73.33 strokes-per-round in the spring and shot at or below par in eight rounds.
Iowa’s adds four freshmen to the its 2016-17 roster. Ryoto Furuya (Georgia), Alex Schaake (Nebraska), Jack Simpson (Ontario), and Benton Weinberg (Maryland).
TIES TO MINNESOTA
UI head coach Tyler Stith spent three years as an assistant coach for the Gophers (2011-14), helping them to a Big Ten Title in 2014 and an NCAA Regionals appearance.
FRESHMEN IN THE LINE-UP
Three freshmen will make their collegiate debuts this weekend. Ryoto Furuya and Jack Simpson sit at four and five, while Benton Weinberg will be participating in the individual portion of the tournament.
LEADING THE CHARGE
Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll are the lone senior’s leading the Hawkeyes this season. Knoll is the defending individual medalist from the 2015 GolfWeek Conference Challenge, with a 54 hole total of 205 (-11; 66, 67, 72) — the lowest three-round total in program history. Schaake won the individual Big Ten Championship title as a sophomore in 2015, becoming the third Hawkeye in program history to win a Big Ten Title.
WALKER MAKES HISTORY
Sophomore Matthew Walker competed in every event for the Hawkeyes as a freshman, and was the first true freshman to compete in every fall tournament for the Hawkeyes since Cole Peevler in 2005.
The Hawkeyes ended the spring season at the NCAA Regionals in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the program’s eight straight NCAA Regional appearance. The spring season was highlighted by a second place finish at the Big Ten Championships, in Newburgh, Indiana, marking the third straight year that Iowa has placed third or better at the event.
The highlight of the fall came at Iowa’s own GolfWeek Conference Challenge, where 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.
8 STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Iowa has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last eight seasons, joining Illinois as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last eight 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 the 2015 Big Ten Championships and Raymond Knoll who won last year’s GolfWeek Conference Challenge. The Hawkeyes have also had three All-Americans since 2008.
Following the Gopher Invitational, the Hawkeyes take a week off before playing in the Windon Memorial Classic on Sept. 25 and 26 in Chicago. The event is hosted by Northwestern.