STATESBORO, Ga. — The University of Iowa men’s golf team is positioned in 12th place after the first round of the 39th annual Schenkel Invitational. The Hawkeyes shot six-over-par (294) at the par-72 Forest Heights Country Club on Friday.
No. 5 Vanderbilt leads the field after day one, firing a 14-under par (274). The Hawkeyes only trail fourth-ranked Florida by two strokes and seventh-place teams UAB, Charleston Southern, and host Georgia Southern by five strokes. Iowa leads Big Ten-foe Minnesota by two strokes heading into Saturday’s second round.
Junior Matthew Walker paced the squad on Friday, currently tied for 22nd after shooting an even-par 72. Walker posted two birdies and two bogeys on the day. Sophomore Alex Schaake (73, +1) sits one stroke behind Walker, who rebounded nicely after starting his round plus-three after the first two holes. Schaake birdied two of the last three holes and finished with a team-best four birdies.
Senior Sam Meuret birdied holes 17 and 18 to finish the first round in a tie for 50th place (74, +2). Sophomores Benton Weinberg (75, +3) and Alex Moorman (77, +5) are tied for 58th and 73rd place, respectively, after Friday’s action.
Sophomore Jack Simpson and junior Aaron DeNucci competed as individuals. Simpson, who is tied for 16th place after day one, fired a season-best one-under par 71 on Friday. The Canada native drained four birdies, including three on the front nine. DeNucci carded a season-best 74, who is competing in his first stroke-play event since Oct. 2-3.
|T-16||Jack Simpson *||71||-1|
|T-50||Aaron DeNucci *||74||+2|
* — competing as individuals
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS
“We had a disappointing start, making the turn at plus-four. Fortunately we made some birdies coming in to grind out a few decent rounds. We are not happy with our position, but we are close enough to close the gap tomorrow. We need a better start with five players around par or better at the turn. To do that we have to putt much better than we did today.”
The Hawkeyes will be paired with East Tennessee State and Florida on Saturday. Tee times will start at 8:51 a.m. (ET) on the back nine.