PALM COAST, Fla. — The University of Iowa men’s golf team won both matches on Friday in the first day of Big Ten Match Play held at the Hammock Beach Ocean Course.
The fifth-seeded Hawkeyes defeated 12th-seeded Nebraska in the first round, 3-2. Iowa then took down fourth-seeded Penn State, 3-2, in the afternoon match.
Fifth-year senior Alex Schaake, junior Gonzalo Leal Montero, and sophomore Mac McClear each notched individual victories against the Huskers. Schaake chipped in on his 15th hole and then birdied the final two holes to grab the deciding point in the match. McClear escaped a green-side bunker on his final hole to secure his victory and help clinch the Iowa win.
Schaake and McClear also overcame their Penn State counterparts, and fifth-year senior Benton Weinberg got in on the action with a 2-and-1 victory that put the Hawkeyes over the top against the higher-seeded Nittany Lions.
Round 1: Iowa 3, Nebraska 2
Alex Schaake (UI) def. Brandon Meyer (NU): 2-UP
Gonzalo Leal Montero (UI) def Tom Westenberger (NU): 3-and-2
Mac McClear (UI) def. Caleb Badura (NU): 4-and-2
Jack Lundin (NU) def. Benton Weinberg (UI): 5-and-4
Gentry Scheve (NU) def. Charles Jahn (UI): 6-and-5
Quarterfinals: Penn State 3, Iowa 2
Alex Schaake (UI) def. Ryan Davis (PSU): 5-and-4
Alec Bard (PSU) def. Gonzalo Leal Montero (UI): 3-and-2
Mac McClear (UI) def. Lou Olsakovsky (PSU): 1-UP
Benton Weinberg (UI) def. Jimmy Meyers (PSU): 2-and-1
James McHugh (PSU) def. Charles Jahn (UI): 5-and-3
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“Alex [Schaake] and Mac [McClear] were so clutch winning the final points and sealing our victories. They clinched the wins, but it was a group effort. Everyone fought hard in their matches. Gonzalo [Leal Montero] came from behind to win in the morning. And Benton did the same in the afternoon match. We showed some grit and toughness, which is awesome to see.”
Iowa advances to the semi-finals for the first time since 2017 and will face eighth-seeded Michigan State tomorrow morning beginning at 7 a.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes will then play their final round of the event in the afternoon.