The University of Iowa men’s golf team opens spring play at the 11th annual Big Ten Match Play in Palm Coast, Florida, Friday and Saturday.
Friday, Feb. 8 — 36 holes, shotgun start beginning at 7 a.m. (CT)
Saturday, Feb. 9 — 18 holes, shotgun start beginning at 7 a.m. (CT)
FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
The No. 3 seed Hawkeyes will face No. 14 Nebraska in the first round on Friday at the Ocean Course.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring. Links can be found on the men’s golf schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa men’s golf program and to access exclusive coverage, “like” Hawkeye men’s golf on Facebook and follow @IowaHawkeyeGolf on Twitter and Instagram.
Teams can have an eight-player tournament roster with six players competing in each match. Matches will be scored in a win, loss, or tie fashion. An individual match win is worth one point, and a halved match is worth 1/2 point for each team. Matches ending in a 3-3 tie have a tie breaking criteria. After the three round robin matches, teams will be ranked one through 7 in their Big Ten division, and face the team from the opposing division with the same ranking in Saturday’s final round.
No. 47 Iowa is joined by a field of 13 other teams that include: No. 27 Illinois, No. 36 Northwestern, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue, and Nebraska (Golfweek Rankings).
The lineup for Big Ten Match Play includes two seniors (Matthew Walker and Aaron DeNucci), two juniors (Alex Schaake and Benton Weinberg), one sophomore (Jake Rowe), and one freshman (Gonzalo Leal Montero).
Big Ten Match Play will be played at Hammock Beach Golf Resort. Play will take place at both of the resorts courses, Ocean Course (par 72; 7,113 yards) and Conservatory Course (par 72; 7,777 yards).
LAST TIME OUT
The Hawkeyes concluded fall play at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate, finishing eighth with a 54-hole score of 884 (+44). Junior Benton Weinberg earned his first top-10 finish of the season, tying for 10th with a three-round total of 215 (+5). Junior Alex Schaake fired a 54-hole score of 216 (+6) to earn his team-leading fourth top-20 finish of the season, tying for 12th.
HISTORICALLY AT BIG TEN MATCH PLAY
This will be Iowa’s eighth time competing in this tournament. The Hawkeyes have finished in top-10 all previous seven times, including five top-five finishes. Iowa’s best finish came in 2012, when they finished first based on criteria following a 3-3 tie. Last season, Iowa posted a 2-2 record to earn a ninth place finish.
The Hawkeyes recorded top-10 finishes in four of their five fall tournaments, including three finishes in the top-five. Iowa’s best finish of the fall came at the Golfweek Conference Challenge where they finished second with a two-round score of 565 (-11). Junior Alex Schaake recorded the best finish for the Hawkeyes, tying for second with a 36-hole score of 139 (-5).
The Hawkeyes etched their name into the program record books for their performance at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic. Iowa carded a 277 (-7) in the final round to tie for the sixth lowest 18-hole score in program history. Schaake’s 54-hole score of 203 (-10) set a new school record, while his 67 (-4) in the final round tied for the fifth lowest 18-hole score. Weinberg’s 54-hole score of 205 (-8) set a new career best and tied Raymond Knoll for the second lowest 54-hole score.
SCHAAKE LEADING THE WAY
Schaake leads the Hawkeyes, posting nine of his 14 rounds this season at or below par. The Omaha, Nebraska, native has registered the top individual finish for Iowa in two of their five tournaments, finishing tied for second at the Golfweek Conference Challenge and tied for seventh at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic. Schaake fired all three rounds below par at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic, including two four-below (67). He leads Iowa with four top-20 finishes, three top-10 finishes, a stroke average of 70.7, and is tied for the team lead low 18-hole score of 67.
STAYING HOT IN THE WINTER
Junior Alex Schaake and senior Matthew Walker competed in the 2018 South Beach International Amateur, Dec. 19-22, at the Miami Beach Golf Club. Schaake finished eighth with a four-round score of 279 (-5). Walker posted a four-round score of 285 (+7), tying for 23rd.
Sophomore Joe Kim joined the Iowa men’s golf program in January after transferring from Indian Hills Community College. The Castle Hill, NSW Australia, native led Indian Hills to the 2018 NJCAA National Championship. He recorded a fifth-place individual finish at the NJCAA Championship. Kim will be eligible to compete beginning with the Colleton River Collegiate (March 4-5).
STAYING BELOW PAR
Junior Benton Weinberg carded three-straight rounds below par at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic. He tied a career-low 18-hole score with a 67 (-4) in the second round. Weinberg has four rounds at or below par this season and a stroke average of 71.6.
Iowa will travel to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, for the Puerto Rico Classic, Feb. 17-19.