COLUMBUS, Ohio — Junior Matthew Walker fired back-to-back under-par rounds on the first day of the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate to sit in a tie for second place and lead the Hawkeyes to seventh place after nearly two rounds. The University of Iowa men’s golf team fired a 36-hole total of 586 (+18; 294, 292) at Ohio State’s par-71 Scarlet Course that stretches 7,444 yards.
Half of the teams in the tournament were unable to finish their second round due to darkness. No school in the 16-team event is under par, while four of the six teams ahead of Iowa are ranked in the top 42 of Golfstat’s national rankings. The Hawkeyes were tied for sixth with No. 13 Illinois after round one and turned in an eight-over-par in round two to drop one spot to seventh place.
Walker led the Hawkeyes in both rounds, compiling eight birdies on day one. The Ottumwa, Iowa, native fired a near flawless first round that featured two birdies and just one bogey on the final hole to start the day at one-under-par (70). Six birdies and one round later, Walker’s second-round 69 has him tied for second place and two strokes back of Michigan State’s Michael Sharp.
Alex Schaake and Benton Weinberg both carded first-round 73’s and second-round 77’s to tie for 55th at eight-over-par after two complete rounds.
Sam Meuret and Alex Moorman both had bounce-back second rounds and are tied for 69th. Meuret found his stroke in the second round, shooting a one-over-par 72 with two birdies. Moorman did much of the same, recording two birdies in the second round en route to a three-over-par 74.
- Walker’s eight birdies were the second most in the 88-player field.
- Walker’s second-round 69 was one stroke off his season-low of 68 that he recorded in the first round of the Windon Memorial Classic in October.
- Walker brought his season total to 10 rounds at or below par.
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS
“Matthew (Walker) managed his game well. He’s gaining more confidence in his ball striking. His short game was phenomenal today. All the teams we’re chasing are ranked so wee need to be much sharper tomorrow.”
The third round will begin tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. (ET). Iowa be paired with Michigan State, No. 40 Penn State, and Miami (OH).