The University of Iowa men’s golf team returns home on Saturday to host the annual Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course. Iowa will play host to 12 of the Midwest’s strongest teams in the 27th edition of the 54-hole tournament.
Iowa has hoisted the team trophy 15 times in the event’s history and produced 14 individual champions. The Hawkeyes did both in 2019, when Matthew Walker and Alex Schaake claimed co-medalist honors with program-record 54-hole scores of 199 (-14). Iowa looks to follow up that record-breaking performance with its second tournament victory of the 2021 season.
There will be a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. (CT) on Saturday and Sunday. Spectators are allowed on the golf course to watch the competition each day.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
You can follow this week’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.
Iowa has not announced its lineup for the event. Individuals will qualify this week.
The13-team field includes: Ball State, Creighton, DePaul, Drake, Grand Canyon, No. 43 Iowa, No. 58 Kansas, Marquette, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, Toledo, No. 84 Wisconsin.
Established in 1953, Finkbine Golf Course is the home of Hawkeye golf. The 7,157-yard course spans 200 acres and offers immaculately manicured Bentgrass greens, tees, and fairways, as well as 62 well-kept bunkers. The signature par-3 No. 13 features a double green with a tee shot over the course’s lone water hazard, which is a favorite of fifth-year senior Alex Schaake.
“The whole back nine is my favorite,” says Schaake. “Hole 13, the island green par-three, is definitely one of my favorite holes.”
“When [No.] 9 is into the wind it’s a really good hole,” adds junior Gonzalo Leal-Montero.
ON THE LINKS
Last time out, the Hawkeyes placed seventh at the inaugural Calusa Cup on April 4-6. The 54-hole event was hosted by Iowa at scenic Calusa Pines Golf Club in Naples, Florida and featured an elite field of competitors. Previously, the team fell to No. 11 Florida in a dual match at Calusa Pines on March 29 and won the team championship at the Spartan Collegiate on March 8-9.
- Alex Schaake led the way for Iowa at the Calusa Cup, finishing tied for fifth on the individual leaderboard. Schaake’s final round of 67 (-5) was his second-best 18 holes score of the year and brought him up to a one-under par showing for the week.
- Schaake’s 12 birdies were the most for Iowa at the event; the Hawkeyes recorded 41 birdies in total on the week.
- Sophomore Mac McClear placed 26 at event for Iowa’s next best finish. His score of 70 in the final round (-2) was good for Iowa’s only other round below par at the event.
- McClear and Schaake previously finished 1-2 at the Spartan Collegiate, respectively. Fifth-year senior Benton Weinberg tied for 12.
- McClear finished with a 10-under par 54-hole score, as well as a 7-under par performance in the final round; those scores were personal bests for McClear and Iowa’s best on the season.
RANKINGS AND HONORS
Alex Schaake currently sits at No. 15 in the PGA TOUR University standings, marking his best ranking in the metric this season. He trails just two other Big Ten golfers.
Schaake also checks in at No. 66 in the GolfStat individual ranking, eight spots ahead of teammate Mac McClear (No. 74).
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 travel to Columbus, Ohio, on April 24-25, for the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate at the Ohio State University Golf Club.