NAPLES, Fla. — The University of Iowa men’s golf team finished in seventh place at the inaugural Calusa Cup on Tuesday. The event, hosted by the Hawkeyes at Calusa Pines Golf Club, featured some the elite talent in collegiate men’s golf.
Fifth-year senior Alex Schaake led the way for Iowa, rocketing up the leader board in the final round to finish tied at fifth place. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was seeing red on Tuesday, posting six birdies to finish with a 5-under par round of 67. That marks Iowa’s best round of the week and Schaake’s second-best round on the year.
“The thing that was working for me today was I made some great putts,” said Schaake. “I didn’t really miss too many putts inside 10 feet, which is huge here.”
Schaake started the day with a pair of birdies on holes two and three, sinking putts of 10 and 20 feet, respectively. From there, he was in a groove.
“For me I know I’m going to move up a little bit in the rankings and that is what I wanted out of this week,” Schaake says. “Unfortunately, our team didn’t play great, but we didn’t take any bad losses this week either.
We had one bad round where we didn’t put any great scores together. But now, we can take confidence that we played a great round today on a tough golf course and take that to playing well in our home event.”
Schaake finished ahead of two top 10 players on the individual leaderboard. He has placed in the top five in each of Iowa’s last two tournaments, finishing second at the Spartan Collegiate (March 9) behind only teammate Mac McClear.
McClear had a strong final round, as well, posting a 2-under-par 70 on Tuesday. He finished 26th overall.
All six teams that finished in front of the Hawkeyes are nationally, including No. 2 Oklahoma who took home the team trophy at 5-under par 859. No. 2 ranked John Pak of Florida State was the Calusa Cup individual champion.
HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“Alex’s 67 today ties for the lowest round of the tournament. That is an unreal round on this course. We have seen him do that time and time again and we needed it today. Alex today showed that he can compete with the best players in the country. He came up with the clutch round, and Mac played well today, shooting 2-under par. Anything on this golf course under par is really good. Mac fought hard out there today, made a lot of birdies, and posted a good score overall.
I think when we look back at this week, it will be a good learning experience for us. We were able play three rounds on a tough golf course. This will help us in the Big Ten Championships and in the postseason. We will use this as a learning opportunity, spend a couple of weeks back home getting ready for our home event, and continue working on getting ready for the postseason.”
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- Alex Schaake was five-under par on par-five holes this week, tying for second best among individual competitors.
- Schaake’s 12 birdies were the most for Iowa at the event; the Hawkeyes recorded 41 birdies in total on the week.
- Mac McClear’s 70 was one of two under-par rounds for Iowa this week.
Iowa hosts the annual Hawkeye Invitational on April 17-18, at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa.