The University of Iowa men’s golf team opens its 2017 spring slate in Palm Coast, Florida for the ninth annual Big Ten Match Play Championship this weekend. The two-day event will be held at Hammock Beach Resort, and will be played on the Tom Watson designed Conservatory Course.
Friday, Feb. 10 — Round 1 Match vs. Indiana, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Friday, Feb. 10 — Round 2 Match vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 — Round 3 Match vs. TBD, 8 a.m. (shotgun)
Saturday, Feb. 11 — Round 4 Match vs. TBD, 1:15 p.m. (shotgun)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com or by clicking the live stats link 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.
Eleven of the 14 Big Ten Conference schools will be competing for the title. Michigan State will be the No. 1 seed followed by No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Northwestern, No. 4 Purdue, No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Indiana, No. 10 Nebraska, and No. 11 Rutgers. Four teams are ranked in the top-50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin collegiate golf rankings — Michigan State (30), Purdue (33), Northwestern (37), and Penn State (50).
The Big Ten Match Play Championships will be played at Tom Watson’s Signature design Conservatory Course. Playing as a 7,777 yard, par 72, the Conservatory Course is Florida’s longest golf course.
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes concluded their fall season at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate nearly three and a half months ago. Finishing fifth overall, the Hawkeyes posted their best team finish of the fall, carding a 1,074 (+9) with rounds of 359, 357, and 358. Sophomore Matthew Walker fired a season-best, 54-hole total of 210 (-3) The Ottumwa, Iowa native tied for ninth overall, posting rounds of 71, 69, and 70. Walker led the field, registering 15 birdies during the tournament.
Traveling for the Hawkeyes will be seniors Raymond Knoll and Carson Schaake, junior Sam Meuret, sophomore Matthew Walker, and freshmen Ryoto Furuya, Alex Schaake, and Alex Moorman.
CAREER MATCH PLAY RECORDS
Ryoto Furuya — (0-0-0)
Raymond Knoll — (6-5-2)
Sam Meuret — (1-3-0)
Alex Moorman — (0-0-0)
Carson Schaake — (4-3-1)
Alex Schaake — (0-0-0)
Matthew Walker — (4-0-0)
BIG TEN MATCH PLAY HISTORY
The Hawkeyes have registered third place finishes in two of the last four years at the Big Ten Match Play Championship. The most recent coming in 2015 when the Hawkeyes defeated fourth-seeded Maryland for a third-place finish via tiebreaker in the final round.
MOORMAN JOINS IOWA LINEUP
The Hawkeyes welcomed redshirt freshman Alex Moorman to the team this winter. The Centerville, Iowa native transfered from Kansas after making three starts for the Jayhawks and posting a 73.44 average this past fall. Moorman made his collegiate debut at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate posting a 68 (-3) on Sept. 23.
The Hawkeyes competed in five tournaments last fall, averaging 75.11 strokes-per-round as a team. Senior Raymond Knoll lead the Hawkeyes with a scoring average of 72.06, sophomore Matthew Walker followed close behind at 72.26. Freshman Alex Schaake recorded a top-20 finish at the Paintbrush Intercollegiate, finishing the fall slate with a 73.78 scoring average.
CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARD
Senior Raymond Knoll leads the Hawkeye squad with a scoring average of 72.06 this season. Knoll was the top finisher for Iowa at two tournaments this fall. Sophomore Matthew Walker follows with 72.26 strokes-per-round and has four top-10 finishes.
Iowa’s lowest 18-hole round of the season came on the last day of the Golfweek Conference Challenge when the Hawkeyes carded a 284 (-4). Matthew Walker led the team, firing a 66 (-6) — the lowest round of the entire tournament.
Freshman Alex Schaake carded a career best at the Paintbrush Invitational, posting a 54-hole total of 218 (+2). He climbed 23 spots during his final round, posting a 71 and finishing in a tie for 18th overall. The Paintbrush Invitational was Schaake’s second tournament as a Hawkeye.
Two Hawkeyes recorded multiple top-10 finishes during the fall season. Senior Raymond Knoll and sophomore Matthew Walker both registered top-10 finishes at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. Knoll finished third, while Walker finished in a tie for eighth. The duo also finished in the top-10 at the Gopher Invite with Knoll finishing in fourth and Walker in a tie for seventh. Walker also finished in a tie for eighth at the WIndon Memorial Classic, while Knoll tied for 18th.
3 HAWKEYES ON B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST
Seniors Raymond Knoll, 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 at par or better 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 — the 2015 Big Ten Champion — averaged 72.97 strokes-per-round in his junior campaign. He finished at or below par in eight rounds and was Iowa’s top finisher in each of the last three 2016 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.
LEADING THE CHARGE
Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll are the lone seniors leading the Hawkeyes this season. Knoll won the 2015 Golfweek Conference Challenge . He won the prestigious event 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 Conference Title.
WALKER MAKES HISTORY
Sophomore Matthew Walker has competed in every event for the Hawkeyes since his freshman year. The Ottumwa, Iowa, native was the first true freshman to compete in every fall tournament for the Hawkeyes since Cole Peevler in 2005.
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).
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.
Iowa will continue its spring campaign on March 12 at the Chechesse Creek Club Dual in Okaite, South Carolina.