PALM COAST, Fla. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team picked up three individual victories from Matthew Walker, Benton Weinberg, and Alex Moorman, but fell to Purdue and Minnesota on day one of the Big Ten Match Play at the par-72 Ocean Course.
In Iowa’s round-one matchup against Purdue, the Hawkeyes could not overcome the Boilermakers hot shooting. Purdue made 25 birdies and three eagles compared to Iowa’s 17 birdies, which is vital in a match play setting. Iowa fell to Purdue, 4.5-1.5.
Walker was able to secure Iowa’s lone win in the first round, never trailing the whole match. The win improved Walker’s Big Ten Match Play record to 8-1.
Sam Meuret tied with Purdue’s Cole Bradley in a back-and-forth contest that featured 11 total birdies from the pair.
Iowa’s second round matchup against Minnesota was more promising with two individual victories from Weinberg and Moorman and two near-comeback victories from Walker and Alex Schaake. Iowa lost, 4-2, to Minnesota.
Weinberg was 2-up after the first two holes in the second round and never looked back. The sophomore went on to beat Minnesota’s Peter Jones 5-and-3 with two birdies and 11 pars.
Moorman used three birdies on the back nine of the second round to put pressure on Minnesota’s Gus Minkin and eventually won, 5-and-4.
Schaake’s comeback bid fell short when he bogeyed the par-three fourth hole to lose by one to Minnesota’s Angus Flanagan. Walker’s 14 pars in the second round were not enough as his opponent Riley Johnson had four pivotal birdies. Both Schaake and Walker fell by a 1-up score.
Round 1: Purdue 4.5, Iowa 1.5
1) Brian Carlson (PUR) def. Alex Schaake (UI), 2-and-1
2) Matthew Walker (UI) def. Timmy Hildebrand (PUR), 3-and-2
3) Jason Hong (PUR) def. Benton Weinberg (UI), 2-and-1
4) Cole Bradley (PUR) drew Sam Meuret (UI), AS
5) Joe Weiler (PUR) def. Alex Moorman (UI), 3-and-1
6) Jarle Volden (PUR) def. Aaron DeNucci (UI), 6-and-5
Round 2: Minnesota 4, Iowa 2
1) Angust Flanagan (MINN) def. Alex Schaake (UI), 1-up
2) Riley Johnson (MINN) def. Matthew Walker (UI), 1-up
3) Benton Weinberg (UI) def. Peter Jones (MINN), 5-and-3
4) Thomas Longbella (MINN) def. Sam Meuret (UI), 7-and-6
5) Alex Moorman (UI) def. Gus Minkin (MINN), 5-and-4
6) Charlie Duensing (MINN) def. Jack Simpson (Iowa), 3-and-2
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS ON ROUND 1
“The guys played pretty well and fought hard. We have to give credit to Purdue; they made a lot of birdies and not many mistakes. We were even par or better in five of the matches when the matches ended. (Matthew Walker’s) record speaks for itself. Matthew is a strong match play competitor because he doesn’t beat himself.”
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS ON ROUND 2
“We trailed early in several matches and were not able to get in control. We didn’t capitalize when we had opportunities. At that point, you’re relying to heavily on your opponent to make mistakes. Benton Weinberg and Alex Moorman played well this afternoon and won convincingly. They jumped out to early leads and kept extending throughout the match. Tomorrow we need to get ahead early and stay in control.”
Iowa begins Saturday with their third and final round-robin match against Ohio State at 7 a.m. (CT). After that, teams will be reseeded base on their performance in round-robin play and then matched with the team that has the same ranking in the opposite division. The last round will start at 12:30 p.m. (CT).