Walker Leads Hawkeyes to Season-Best Finish at Royal Oaks

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DALLAS — University of Iowa men’s golfer Matthew Walker fired a season-best, 54-hole total of 210 (-3) to lead the Hawkeyes to a fifth-place finish at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate on Tuesday. The Hawkeyes carded a 1074 (+9) with rounds of 359, 357, and 358 to register their highest team finish of the fall season.
Baylor, the tournament host, won the event with a three-round 1034 (-31), while Houston came in second (1066; +1). The field featured four teams — Baylor (14), Kent State (20), Michigan (40), and New Mexico (46) — ranked within the top-50 of the Golfstat Relative Rankings.
Walker utilized five birdies to card a one-under-par 70 in Tuesday’s final round. The Ottumwa, Iowa native tied for ninth overall, posting rounds of 71, 69, and 70 for a season-best, 54-hole total of 210 (-3). Walker led the 72-man field, registering 15 birdies throughout the tournament.
“Matthew had a great tournament,” said UI head coach Tyler Stith.  “After starting out slow in the first two rounds, he showed a lot of patience and made a few birdies. He came back with another solid round today. He’s really becoming one of the better players in the Big Ten.”
Raymond Knoll followed, carding a one-over-par 72 in the final round. The senior’s day was highlighted by 15 holes at par or better, including birdies on holes 14 and 16. Knoll tied for 21st with a 54-hole total of 215 (+2; 72, 71, 72).
Junior Sam Meuret climbed eight spots up the leaderboard on the final day with his best round of the tournament. The Brunswick, Nebraska native tallied three birdies on the back nine to finish with an even-par 71. Meuret tied for 36th overall with a three-round 218 (+5; 74, 73, 71) — his lowest score of the fall.
Freshmen Alex Schaake and Ryoto Furuya each tied for 43rd with a 54-hole total of 219 (+6). Schaake carded rounds of 71, 76, and 72 in the two-day tournament. Furuya used rounds of 71, 73, and 75 en route to his season-best, three-round total.
Carson Schaake rounded out the Iowa lineup. The senior finished 54th overall with a 54-hole total of 223 (+10), including rounds of 79, 71, and 73.
“We got a glimpse of what this team is capable of, but we have a lot more left in the tank,” said Stith. “We want to prove to ourselves how good we can be. We took a step in the right direction with our highest finish of the fall. This gives us good momentum and energy heading into our spring season.”
The Hawkeyes open their spring slate at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in Palm Coast, Florida on Feb. 10-11.