The University of Iowa men’s golf team competes in its first spring event of the season at the 13th annual Big Ten Match Play Championship. Competition takes place Friday and Saturday, in Palm Coast, Florida, at the Hammock Beach Resort.
Friday — Two matches, the first beginning at 7 a.m. (CT) and the second beginning at noon
Saturday — Two matches, the first beginning at 7 a.m. (CT) and the second beginning at noon
FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
The fifth-seeded Hawkeyes will face 12th-seeded Nebraska in the first round on Friday. The winner of this match will advance to the quarterfinals against No. 4 Penn State.
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 access to exclusive coverage, “like” Hawkeye men’s golf on Facebook and follow @IowaHawkeyeGolf on Twitter and Instagram.
The Big Ten Match Play is set up in a single-elimination tournament bracket. Teams can have an eight-player tournament roster with five players competing in each match. An individual match win is worth one point. Matches ending in a 2.5-2.5 tie have a tie breaking criteria.
Fifth-year senior Alex Schaake will lead the Hawkeyes in the No. 1 spot, followed by junior Gonzalo Leal Montero, sophomore Mac McClear, fifth-year senior Benton Weinberg, and fifth-year senior Charles Jahn.
The 12-team field includes Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
Big Ten Match Play will be played at Hammock Beach Golf Resort’s Ocean Course (par 72; 7,113 yards). The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus, who won a record 18 major championships.
Two freshman — Callum Macfie (Yorkshire, England) and Felipe Pedraza (Lima, Peru) join the Hawkeye roster this spring. Iowa also welcomes Charles Jahn (Sperry, Iowa) as a graduate transfer.
“It has been 10 months since we traveled and competed as a team. They’re excited. They have shown a lot of resiliency over the last 10 months. Getting back into a competitive setting is going to be a lot of fun.”
HISTORICALLY AT THE BIG TEN MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
- This will be Iowa’s 10th appearance in this tournament. The Hawkeyes have six top-five finishes. Their best finish came in 2012 when they finished first.
- Iowa finished with a 3-1-0 record at last year’s Big Ten Match Play Championship. The Hawkeyes notched victories over Michigan (3-3), Michigan State (4-2), and second-seeded Purdue (3-3). Schaake and Weinberg each posted three individual wins. Iowa’s lone loss was to top-seeded Northwestern in the quarterfinals, who won the event.
- Against Purdue, Iowa trailed in five of six matches after the ninth hole, but stormed back to win two individual matches and draw two more. Jake Rowe birdied three of his final five holes.
ON THE LINKS
- Iowa has not competed since the Big Ten and NCAA cancelled the spring sports season last March due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. That has not slowed down Iowa golfers over the offseason.
Gonzalo Leal Montero won the Copa Andalucia Masculina tournament in Malaga, Spain, on Jan. 21. The tournament featured some of the top amateur talent in Europe. He carded a four-under par 68 in each round for a final score of 16-under par 272. That was six strokes better than the second place finisher (Vidal Mora).
- Benton Weinberg won The Harvest tournament championship (Oct. 11, 2020). He outlasted teammate Alex Schaake in a playoff after both finished six under par (210). Eight Hawkeyes competed in the tournament unattached.
- The Harvest marked Schaake’s third consecutive top 5 finish while competing unattached over the offseason. He finished third at the Zach Johnson Invitational (Sept. 29, 2020) and fourth at the Trinity Forrest Amateur (Oct. 7, 2020).
ENTERING THE RECORD BOOKS
- Leal Montero finished the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate last season with a career-best 54-hole score of 208 (-5), which ties for the seventh-lowest 54-hole total in school history.
- Schaake’s 71.6 and Leal Montero’s 71.9 strokes per 18 holes last season were the 5th and 6th lowest season averages in school history.
HAWKEYE TEE SHOTS
- Schaake led the Hawkeyes in rounds at or below par (11) and 18-hole stroke average (71.6) last season. Leal Montero finished second on the team in both categories with 10 rounds at or below par and a 71.9 stroke average.
- Schaake posted four top-20 finishes, while Leal Montero finished in the top-20 twice. Weinberg and Matthew Garside each recorded one top-20 finish.