IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s golf team placed second in the Hawkeye Invitational with a two-round total of 584 (+8; 285, 299) at the par-72 Finkbine Golf Course. Alex Schaake (-4) and Alex Moorman (-3) finished inside the top five to lead the Hawkeyes.
Brutal weather forced the tournament to be shortened to 36 holes. The Hawkeyes shot the lowest round of the day (299) out of the 13 teams but lost by just one stroke to Iowa State. Kansas State’s Jeremy Gandon claimed medalist honors with an eight-under-par (136).
Schaake, who called these conditions the worst he’s ever played in, finished in second place at four-under-par (140) to record his team-best fourth top-five finish of the season.
“Not only the rain,” Schaake said, “but the wind. I’ve never played in anything tougher than today.”
Schaake followed up his first-round 68 with an even-par 72 to bring his season total to a team-leading 10 rounds at or below par. His second round started with 13 straight holes at or below par, including three birdies.
Alex Moorman was right behind Schaake’s runner-up performance finishing in career-best third place with a 36-hole total of 141 (-3; 68, 73). Moorman’s highlight of the round came on his last hole of the day – the 486-yard par-five – when he sank a long eagle putt. Like Schaake, Moorman had never played in anything like this, but was happy with the team’s performance.
“We wanted to win,” Moorman said. “It was tough today. We all pushed through and did a good job.”
Sophomore Ryoto Furuya also secured a career-best finish, tying for 11th. Furuya’s hot start with three birdies led him to a four-over-par, 148. Furuya tied for the fourth most pars in the tournament with 24.
Freshman Jake Rowe tied for 35th, a personal best, with a two-round total of 153 (+9; 76, 77). Sophomore Jack Simpson turned in a season-best, 11-over-par performance to tie for 47th.
Although the outcome was not what the team had expected, there is always something special about competing at Finkbine Golf Course.
“It’s always nice to play a golf tournament on your home course,” Schaake said. “Obviously, we didn’t come out on top, but to have the fans here and be so close to home, it’s very comfortable for us. We played well and looking forward to it next year.”
- Iowa’s finish today ties for the best finish of the season with the Golfweek Conference Challenge back in September where the team finished second out of 15 teams.
- Alex Schaake led the 75-player tournament in par-three scoring with an average of 2.88, while Iowa led the tournament field in par-three scoring with a 3.18 average.
- Ryota Furuya and Schaake each had 24 pars, which tied for the fourth most in the tournament. Iowa’s 107 pars in two rounds were the tournament most.
- Alex Moorman’s nine birdies, seven of which came in round one, were the third most in the tournament.
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS
“We started the round well, and built an eight shot lead with six holes to play. Loose swings and short game errors cost us too many shots down the stretch. We gave it away. Schaake dealt with the conditions very well. Only one player scored better than him today, unfortunately it was the guy he was chasing. Moorman had a very good tournament and a career-best finish. He should be proud of his performance. The weather was a huge factor. We made a decision before the start to play only 18 holes. It was playable, but only barely.”
The Hawkeyes last regular-season tournament is at the Robert Kepler Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, on April 21-22. Following that tournament, the Hawkeyes will compete in the Big Ten Championship, April 27-29.