Former Hawkeyes to Compete in Final Stage of Qualifying for Tour

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch – 2017-18 | Fight For Iowa | Hawk Talk Monthly – December 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Three Hawkeye alums — Brad Hopfinger, Steven Ihm, and Vince India — have advanced to the final round of the qualifying stages of the Tour on Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona at Whirlwind Golf Course. The field has been dwindled down to 146 golfers after several pre-qualifying rounds across the country over the past three months.
Hopfinger begins play at 10:15 am (CT) at The Cattail, while India and Ihm tee off at Devil’s Claw at 10:15 am (CT) and 11:10 am (CT), respectively. 
All competitors have already received conditional Tour status for 2018, but the winner of the final stage will receive fully exempt Tour status for the 2018 regular season with top-10 finishers receiving exempt status for the first 12 events.
Head coach Tyler Stith spent three years with India and Hopfinger during his time as Iowa’s assistant coach from 2008-2011. Stith also played a role in bringing Ihm to Iowa City in 2011 under then head coach Mark Hankins.
“Vince and Brad are a big part of our program’s success over the last nine years,” said Stith. “They won individual and team championships and set a very high standard for future Hawkeyes. Watching them continue to develop as professionals makes the Hawkeye family very proud.”
India, a Deerfield, Illinois, native and 2011 Big Ten Player of the Year, finished third in the second stage at the Brooksville, Florida, tournament with a 16-under-par in four rounds. India fired three rounds at or below par with back-to-back 65’s in the first and second rounds.
As a senior at Iowa, India’s 71.08 strokes-per-round average earned him the Les Bolstad Trophy for the lowest season stroke average in the Big Ten, and it still stands as the lowest single season average in Iowa history. India also put his name into the Hawkeye record books after he became the third golfer in program history to win three tournaments during the 2011 season.  
Hopfinger tied for 17th in stage two at the McKinney, Texas, site with a six-under-par for the tournament. The Chicago native carded first and last round 67’s to qualify for the final stage of the Tour.
At Iowa, Hopfinger became an All-Big Ten honoree his senior season and compiled a career 18-hole average of 73.2 in 122 rounds. Having golfed in at least 14 rounds in five out of his six semesters, Hopfinger was a staple in the Hawkeye lineup.
Ihm, a four-time winner in college, became the first player in Hawkeye history to earn all-conference honors three times. As a junior, Ihm became the first Hawkeye to win back-to-back stroke play tournaments since 1970. Ihm placed fifth at the Big Ten Championships with a 295 (+7) as a senior to go along with 21 rounds at or below par.
Ihm made his PGA TOUR debut at the 2014 John Deere Classic, where he tied for 27th. Since then, Ihm has competed on the PGA Tour Latin America working to earn Tour status. Ihm placed fourth at the second stage in Plantation, Florida, behind three consecutive 67’s and a four-round 272 (-12), which was only one stroke behind the leaders.
“Steven had an illustrious college career and has been a great ambassador for our program,” Stith said.  “He has gained valuable experience in Latin America and is ready to take the next step.”