PALM COAST, Fla. — The University of Iowa men’s golf team earned three individual victories from senior Matthew Walker, freshman Gonzalo Leal Montero, and junior Benton Weinberg, but fell to Nebraska and Michigan on the par-72 Ocean and Conservatory Courses on day one of the Big Ten Match Play Championships.
In round one, Iowa came up just short as Nebraska took the first three matches. The Hawkeyes (24) and Cornhuskers (22) finished first and second in the round for birdies, while Nebraska finished first in the field with five eagles. Iowa ultimately fell to Nebraska, 4-2.
Walker was able to secure one of Iowa’s two wins in round one against Nebraska’s Dylan McCabe. The win improved his Big Ten Match Play record to 9-1.
In his first round at Big Ten Match Play, Leal Montero was able to secure his first individual win. He topped Nebraska’s Jackson Wendling, 2-and-1, in a tightly contested match that featured five birdies and three eagles.
Iowa second round matchup against Michigan featured three split matches and three individual victories. The Hawkeyes ultimately fell to the Wolverines, 3.5-2.5.
Weinberg earned Iowa’s lone win in the second round over Michigan’s Brent Ito, 3-and-2.
Senior Aaron DeNucci, Walker, and Leal Montero each split their matches in the second round.
Round 1: Nebraska 4, Iowa 2
- Tanner Owen (NEB) def. Alex Schaake (UI), 1-up
- Jay Cottam (NEB) def. Aaron DeNucci (UI), 1-up
- Jace Guthmiller (NEB) def. Benton Weinberg (UI), 2-and-1
- Matthew Walker (UI) def. Dylan McCabe (NEB), 5-and-4
- Mitchell Klooz (NEB) def. Jake Rowe (UI), 5-and-4
- Gonzalo Leal Montero (UI) def. Jackson Wendling (NEB), 2-and-1
Round 2: Michigan 3.5, Iowa 2.5
- Ian Martin (MICH) def. Jake Rowe (UI), 8-and-6
- Aaron DeNucci (UI) drew Ben Dunne (MICH), half
- Matthew Walker (UI) drew Henry Spring (MICH), halved
- Gonzalo Leal Montero (UI) drew Charlie Pilon (MICH), halved
- Benton Weinberg (UI) def. Brent Ito (MICH), 3-and-2
- Nick Carlson (MICH) def. Alex Schaake (UI), 4-and-2
COACH STITH’S COMMENTS ON DAY 1
“We got behind early and struggled to get into a rhythm. Tomorrow we need to start better and get control of our matches.”
The Hawkeyes will begin their third-round match at 7 a.m. (CT) against Rutgers. After that, teams will be reseeded base on their performance in round-robin play and then matched with the team that has the same ranking in the opposite division. The last round will start at 12:30 p.m. (CT).