The University of Iowa men’s golf team opens the 2017 fall season in Independence, Minn., at the Gopher Invitational on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday, Sept. 10 — 36 holes, shotgun start at 9 a.m. (CT) followed by continuous play
Monday, Sept. 11 — 18 holes, tee times starting at 7:20 a.m. (CT) 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, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Charlotte, Kent State, Michigan State, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pepperdine, Purdue, San Diego State, St. John’s (Minnesota), and Virginia Tech. Of the 16 teams in the field, eight competed in the 2017 NCAA Championships and five are ranked in the GCAA Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll. The ranked teams include Oklahoma (3), Baylor (4), Arizona State (21), Kent State (T-23), and Pepperdine (T-23). Oklahoma won last year’s event. Kent State’s Bjark Petursson claimed medalist honors in last year’s event.
A par-71, stretching 7,368 yards, Windsong Farm Golf Club, opened in 2003 and is one of Minnesota’s top golf courses.
The lineup for the season opening tournament includes three sophomores (Alex Schaake, Alex Moorman, and Ryoto Furuya), one junior (Matthew Walker), and one senior (Sam Meuret).
QUOTING COACH TYLER STITH
“It’s always nice playing our first tournament so close to home. This is our third year and it’s one of the best tournaments that we play in all year. Our top three especially played well this week in qualifying and we had strong competition for the last couple of spots. We’re taking an experienced and talented group up there this week. The field is great, the golf course is great, so we are all eager to get there and compete. The field is one of the strongest in all of college golf; there’s going to be NCAA Championship teams and NCAA Regional teams so it’s a good test. It will be a good barometer to see exactly where we’re at and how we’ve prepared the first couple of weeks.”
Sam Meuret, who played 15 rounds with a 74.67 stroke average, is the lone senior for the Hawkeyes this season. Aaron DeNucci and Matthew Walker are the only juniors followed by five sophomores and two freshmen. Walker was a leader of the Hawkeyes last year finishing with four top-10’s.
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 appearance at NCAA Regionals.
3 HAWKEYES ON B1G PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST
• Junior Matthew Walker and sophomores Alex Schaake and Jack Simpson were named to the 2017 Big Ten Men’s Golf Preseason Watch List.
• Walker competed in every event for the second consecutive year, averaging 72.73 strokes per round as a sophomore. Last fall he led the Hawkeyes with four top-10 finishes and 16 rounds at or below par. Walker tied for 19th at the 2017 Big Ten Championships and tied for 46th place at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
• Schaake played in seven tournaments last year and posted a 75.1 stroke average per 18-holes. At the 2017 Big Ten Championships, Schaake placed 29th after shooting a career-best 66 (-4).
• Simpson competed in six events, averaging 77.43 strokes-per-round with three rounds at or below par and two top-20 finishes. Simpson shined at the 2017 Big Ten Championships placing a team-best 16th place.
Iowa adds two freshmen to its 2017-18 roster. Jaewook Lee (Langley, British Columbia) and Jake Rowe (Portadown, Northern Ireland).
WALKER IS A WORK HORSE
Junior Matthew Walker was the first true freshman to compete in every fall tournament for the Hawkwyes since Cole Peevler in 2015. Walker followed up his freshman season by competing in every event as a sophomore.
9 STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Iowa has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last nine seasons, joining Illinois as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last nine seasons. Iowa has advanced to the NCAA Championship finals three times in the last eight years (2009, 2011, 2012).
• The Hawkeyes ended the spring season at the NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the program’s ninth straight NCAA Regional appearance. The spring season was highlighted by a fourth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, in Baltimore, Maryland, which is the fourth straight year that Iowa placed fourth or better at the event.
• The highlight of the fall came at Iowa’s annual Hawkeye Invitational, where the Hawkeyes finished second in a 14-team field and had four individuals place 15th or better. Two of the four top-finishers, Matthew Walker and Jack Simpson, shot a 54-hole score of 217 (+1), and return to the 2017 squad.
• As a team the Hawkeyes had a stroke average of 74.93 with 55 rounds at or below par. Alex Schaake and Matthew Walker both shot a team low of 66.
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Iowa has won 12 tournaments since 2008 and has had 15 individual medalists since 2009.The Hawkeyes have also had three All-Americans since 2008.
Following the Gopher Invitational, the Hawkeyes play in the GolfWeek Conference Challenge, Sept. 17-19, at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. The event is hosted by the University of Iowa.