The University of Iowa men’s golf team hosts the 11th annual Golfweek Conference Challenge, Sept. 15-17, at Cedar Rapids Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Admission is free to the public. Iowa’s lineup will be set later this week after qualifying rounds.
Sunday — 18 holes; 9:30 a.m. (CT) tee times off holes 1 and 10
Monday — 18 holes; 9:30 a.m. (CT) tee times off holes 1 and 10
Tuesday — 18 holes; 9 a.m. (CT) shotgun start
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.
The Hawkeyes are joined by 15 other schools from 15 different conferences: Arkansas State, Ball State, Campbell, Dayton, Drexel, Furman, Illinois State, Iowa, Jacksonville State, Kansas State, Loyola Marymount, Marshall, Oakland, Sacremento State, San Jose State, and UMKC.
Set up for the Golfweek Conference Challenge, playing as a par-72, stretching 7,112 yards, the Donald Ross Course at the Cedar Rapids Country Club is the second best course in the state of Iowa, according to Golf Digest’s 2019 rankings. The course was originally designed in 1904 by Ross and most recently restored in 2015 by Ron Prichard. It’s the third straight year the event is at the Cedar Rapids Country Club.
HEAR FROM COACH STITH AND ALEX SCHAAKE
The Golfweek Conference Challenge at Cedar Rapids Country Club is a only a few days away!
— Iowa Hawkeye Golf (@IowaHawkeyeGolf) September 11, 2019
HISTORICALLY AT THE GOLFWEEK CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
- Iowa claimed a runner-up finish at last year’s rain-shortened Golfweek Conference Challenge with a two-round total of 565 (-11). Alex Schaake (139; -5) tied for second place and Gonzalo Leal Montero (140; -4) tied for fifth place.
- The Hawkeyes have finished third or better in four of the last five years, including back-to-back runner-up finishes, at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.
- Iowa is the only team in the 11-year history of the tournament to own two team and individual titles. In 2015, Raymond Knoll captured medalist honors to lead Iowa to a first-place finish, while Vince India and Chris Brant were co-medalists in 2010 to help Iowa capture its first Golfweek Conference Challenge title.
LAST TIME OUT
Iowa used a five-over-par (289) third round at the Gopher Invitational to salvage its season-opening tournament. The Hawkeyes tied for 12th.
- Four of Iowa’s five golfers carded their best 18-hole score in the third round to end the tournament on a high note.
- Senior Alex Schaake (T8; E) was Iowa’s top-finisher and he recorded his 10th career top-10 finish. Sophomore Gonzalo Leal Montero and junior Joe Kim tied for 44th at nine-over-par (222).
- Schaake’s third-round 69 and Leal Montero’s first-round 69 were Iowa’s low 18-hole totals of the tournament.
3 HAWKEYES EARN B1G PRESEASON HONORS
Seniors Alex Schaake and Benton Weinberg, and sophomore Gonzalo Leal Montero were named 2019 Men’s Golf Big Ten Preseason Honorees.
- Schaake, who was named a preseason third-team All-American by Golfweek, is the reigning Big Ten Men’s Golf Player of the Year and Les Bolstad Award winner, which is presented to the player with the lowest stroke average. In his junior campaign, he competed in all 11 events, leading the Hawkeyes in stroke average (71), rounds at or below par (17), top-10 finishes (5), top-20 finishes (6), and low 18-hole round (63).
- Weinberg, a Division I PING All-Midwest Region and All-Big Ten Second Team selection as a junior, competed in all 11 events last season, posting a 71.79 18-hole scoring average with 11 rounds at or below par.
- Leal Montero competed in every event during his freshman season, posting 10 rounds at or below par with four top-20 finishes and one top-10 finish. His best career finish came at the rain-shortened GolfWeek Challenge with a two-round score of 140 (-4) to tie for fifth.
SCHAAKE’S HOT SUMMER
- Senior Alex Schaake entered his name into the Nebraska Amateur record books this summer, winning his fourth consecutive 72-hole Nebraska Amateur Championship at eight-under-par (280). The Omaha, Nebraska, native won a seven-hole playoff after starting the final round five strokes behind the leader. Schaake became the second individual in 111 years to win the tournament four straight years.
- At the 86th Iowa Open, Schaake registered a 10-under-par 206 in the 54-hole tournament to be the low amateur.
Three freshman — Matthew Garside (Bettendorf, Iowa), Mac McClear (Hinsdale, Ill.), and Garrett Tighe (Algonquin, Ill.) — joined the Hawkeyes this season.
- Tighe made his Hawkeye debut at the last weekend’s Gopher Invitational. In the third round, he fired a personal-best two-over par 73.
- Garside earned medalist honors at the 2018 Class 4A Iowa State Championship with a 65 (-6), which is the lowest 18-hole score at the state tournament since 2011. This summer, Garside was the runner-up low amateur in the Iowa Open at four-under-par (212) behind Schaake.
- McClear comes from Hinsdale Central high school in Hinsdale, Illinois. As a prep, he won three high school state team championships and finished fifth at state as an individual the past two years. He was the fifth ranked golfer in Illinois in the 2019 class.
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Iowa has four team titles and four individual medalists since Coach Stith’s first year in 2014. Last season, Iowa claimed the Hawkeye Invitational with co-medalists Alex Schaake and Matthew Walker. The Hawkeyes have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 10 of the last 11 years.
STITH SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION
Coach Stith signed a five-year contract extension this summer to keep him in Iowa City through 2024. He has led the Hawkeyes to top-four finishes at the Big Ten Championships four times and advanced to four NCAA Regionals in five seasons.
Iowa takes two weekends off before returning to action at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic, Oct. 7-8, in South Bend, Indiana.