IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa freshman Gonzalo Leal Montero paced the men’s golf team on the first day of the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sunday. Iowa finished the first round in third place with an 18-hole score of 282 (-6) at the par-72 (7,071 yards) Cedar Rapids Country Club. Five Hawkeyes are in the top 25 of the leaderboard after the first 18 holes of competition.
Leal Montero is in second place after 18-holes of play with a score of 67 (-5), the lowest by a Hawkeye at this tournament since 2016 (Spirit Hollow in Burlington, Iowa). The freshman posted a tournament-best seven birdies in round one, including four straight on holes 13 thru 16.
Senior Matthew Walker is tied 14th after one round of play with a score of 71 (-1). This is his third round at or below par this season.
Redshirt junior Alex Moorman and junior Alex Schaake are tied for 23rd with an 18-hole score of 72 (E). Moorman carded his second round at or below par, while Schaake posted his third round at or below par this year.
Junior Benton Weinberg posted an 18-hole score of 73 (+1), tying 36th.
Arkansas State is leading the field with a first-round score of 277 (-11), followed by Jacksonville with a score of 281 (-7).
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Three Hawkeyes — senior Aaron DeNucci, junior Jack Simpson, and sophomore Jake Rowe — are competing as individuals. DeNucci carded four birdies to finish round one tied fourth with a score of 69 (-3). Simpson is tied for 77th with an 18-hole score of 79 (+7), while Rowe is tied for 64th with a score of 76 (+4).
- Alex Schaake’s 16 pars leads the field, while Moorman is second with 15.
- Iowa’s par-four scoring average of 4.00 (E) is second in the field of 16 teams.
- The Hawkeyes are first in the field with a team total of 64 pars.
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS
“I thought for the most part, we did not have our best stuff today, but the guys all worked really hard. It was a pretty scrappy round for three or four of the guys, but they kept it around par and posted some solid scores. That’s what we want. We want to make sure we keep it around par when we don’t have our ‘A’ game.
“Gonzalo was impressive all day. He made a lot of putts on the back nine. If you can get it going out here, it’s that type of golf course where if you hit good shots, you can definitely make some birdies. He got hot on the back nine and posted a really good score for us.”
The second round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge tees off tomorrow at 9 a.m. (CT). Iowa is paired with Arkansas State and Jacksonville. Admission is free.