The University of Iowa men’s golf team returns to action as the host of the GolfWeek Conference Challenge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event will be held at the Cedar Rapids Country Club (CRCC) for the first time ever and will take place Sunday through Tuesday. Admission is free to the public.
Sunday — 18 holes, tee times starting at 9:30 a.m. (CT) off holes 1 and 10
Monday — 18 holes, tee time starting at 9:30 a.m. (CT) off holes 1 and 10
Tuesday — 18 holes, shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (CT)
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 a strong 15-team field featuring teams from 15 different conferences. Campbell (Big South), Eastern Michigan (MAC), Furman (Southern), Georgia (SEC), Lipscomb (A-Sun), Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt), McNeese State (Southland), North Carolina Stata (ACC), Sacramento State (Big Sky), San Francisco (WCC), San Jose State (MWC), Southern Illinois (MVC), UNC-Wilmington (Colonial), and Washington State (Pac-12).
The Donald Ross course at Cedar Rapids Country Club is a par-72 stretching 7,112 yards from the tips. Created in 1904 and most recently restored in 2015, the course, is ranked as the best golf course in Eastern Iowa, according to Golf Digest.
QUOTING COACH TYLER STITH
“This is our ninth season hosting the Golfweek Challenge. It’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to compete close to home at a golf course we are familiar with. It’s a privilege to bring so many top teams and showcase one of our great golf courses in Iowa. We’re disappointed with how things finished up last weekend, but we’re still confident going into the tournament this week. We have an opportunity to put that behind us and learn from the mistakes we made and get right back into competition again. My expectations are as high as they would be for any other tournament. We’ve played the golf course a bunch of times and guys have had a lot of success up there. I expect us to be in contention on the final round.”
The Hawkeyes are still competing for the starting five. The lineup will become final on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT
Iowa finished 14th in its season opening tournament at the Gopher Invitational in Independence, Minnesota. Ryoto Furuya led the Hawkeyes with a six-over-par and tied for 28th, followed by Alex Schaake at eight-over-par, and Mathhew Walker at 10-over-par.
RYOTO FURUYA’S CAREER DAY AT GOPHER INVITATIONAL
In the third and final day of the tournament, Furuya fired an 18-hole career best two-under-par, 69, to secure a career low 54-hole total of 219. Furuya’s tie for 12th place also set a best career finish in a tournament.
In 2015, the Hawkeyes claimed the the Golfweek Conference Challenge with a 54-hole total of 842 (-22), which was the firth best 54-hole score in program history. At the time, the tournament was played at Burlington’s Spirit Hollow Golf Course.
The Golfweek Conference Challenge has brought in big names such as 2017 U.S. Open Championship winner Brooks Koepka (Florida State), 2017 John Deere Classic winner Bryson DeChambeau (SMU), Max Homa (UC Berkley), Harold Varner (ECU), and Albin Choi (N.C. State).
WALKER, SCHAAKE, SIMPSON ON B1G PLAYERS TO 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 added 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 Hawkeyes 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.
Following the Golfweek Conference Challenge, the Hawkeyes will play in the SMU Intercollegiate, Sept. 24-26, in Dallas, Texas.