The 50th-ranked University of Iowa men’s golf team heads to Naples, Florida, on Monday, March 29 for an 18-hole match play dual against No. 11 Florida. The teams will tee off on Monday morning at the 7,203-yard Calusa Pines Golf Course.
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Fifth-year senior Alex Schaake will lead the Hawkeyes in the No. 1 spot, followed by sophomore Mac McClear, fifth-year senior Benton Weinberg, junior Gonzalo Leal Montero, senior Jake Rowe, and fifth-year senior Charles Jahn.
Florida boasts a storied men’s golf program that has won 15 Southeastern Conference titles and four NCAA Tournament championships. This year, the Gators have placed first at two events, the Timuquana Collegiate and the Florida Gators Invitational.
Sophmores Yuxin Lin and Ricky Castillo are leading the way statistically, with Lin hitting a stroke average of 70.67 and Castillo firing a team-best 18-hole round of 64 at the Florida Gators Invitational. Florida is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation by GolfStat.
The Hurdzan/Fry-designed Calusa Pines Golf Club is located in Naples, Florida, and is the site of Iowa’s annual Calusa Cup. The scenic course is known for its beautiful vistas and stylistically-diverse holes. Consistently ranked one of the top golf courses in Florida, Calusa Pines rewards experienced players who can be dynamic in their style of play and calculate when to take risks. The expansive par-72 course stretches 7,203 yards.
ON THE LINKS
Last time out, Iowa won the team championship at the Spartan Collegiate following a dominant final round of competition. The Hawkeyes shot a tournament-best 11-under par (277) round on the final day of competition to bring the team into first place at 13-under (851) for the 54-hole event. The championship marks Iowa’s first team victory since the 2019 Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City.
- Iowa finished 1-2 on the leaderboard. Mac McClear picked up his first individual championship at Iowa, placing first out of 80 competitors with a 10-under par score (206). That was good for the fifth-lowest 54 hole score in program history (206).
- McClear’s historic round of 65 (-7) also marked the fourth lowest 18-hole round in program history (65). He finished that round with four birdies on both the front and back nines.
- Alex Schaake placed second at the event with a 7-under par 209. He rallied to the runner-up finish with the third-best 18-hole round of his career (six-under par 66), including six birdies on the back nine.
- Benton Weinberg provided another top 15 finish for Iowa, carding a two-under par 214 that tied him for 12th at the event. He eagled the par-5 eighth hole on the during the third round.
- Iowa drained 25 birdies in the final round, which helped propel them to the title after sitting at a tie for fourth following the second round.
RANKINGS AND HONORS
Iowa golfers received national attention for their dominating performance at the Spartan Collegiate last time out. GolfWeek rewarded Alex Schaake and Mac McClear with Co-Player of the Week honors after the two topped the individual standings at the event.
McClear, who was the tournament champion, also received Big Ten Men’s Golfer of the Week honors for his career best 54-hole score (-10), which included two personal-records for 18-hole rounds (66, 65). McClear ranks 43rd in the GolfStat individual rankings
Schaake sits at No. 27 in the PGA TOUR University standings following the second place finish (-7), behind just three other Big Ten golfers. Schaake ranks 117th in the GolfStat individual rankings.
Two freshmen — Callum Macfie (Yorkshire, England) and Felipe Pedraza (Lima, Peru) joined the Hawkeye roster this spring. Iowa also welcomed Charles Jahn (Sperry, Iowa) as a graduate transfer.
Iowa will return to Naples, Florida, to host the inaugural Calusa Cup, April 4-6, at the Calusa Pines Golf Course.