CARMEL, Indiana — The 38th-ranked University of Iowa men’s golf team is in second place heading into Sunday’s final round of competition at the Big Ten Championships.
Iowa (+20, 596) trails defending-champion No. 11 Illinois (+18, 594) by two strokes with 18 holes left to play at Crooked Stick Golf Course. The Hawkeyes are 20 strokes ahead of third place teams Michigan State (+30) and Northwestern (+30).
Sophomore Mac McClear is tied for first with an even-par score of 144 through 36 holes. McClear registered an bogey-free round with two birdies on Saturday to move up six spots into a tie for first place; his 27 pars over two days lead the field.
“Bogey free today is world class,” says head coach Tyler Stith. “There’s not much more to say. Mac is as strong a competitor as there is.”
McClear is joined in the top ten by fifth-year senior Alex Schaake (T4) and fellow sophomore Garrett Tighe (T9). The trio has combined for 16 of Iowa’s 22 birdies at the event, with Tighe sinking six birdies and McClear and Schaake recording five apiece.
Schaake remains just two strokes back from the lead at 2-over par (146). The Hawkeye veteran has finished in the top five in each of the last four tournaments.
Schaake is seeking his best career finish at the Big Ten Championships; he previous best at this event came in 2019 when he finished in 18th place.
The Fighting Illini are looking for their sixth consecutive championship at the event. If the Hawkeyes can usurp them, it will be the program’s second-ever Big Ten title (1992).
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HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“We’ve been in this position before and we know what it takes to win. We will be ready to play tomorrow.”
- Iowa is the only school with two golfers positioned in the top five of the leaderboard (McClear, T1; Schaake, T4).
- Iowa’s 109 pars lead all teams through 36 holes. The Hawkeyes’ par-four stroke average of 4.28 leads the field.
- The Hawkeyes have recorded 22 birdies so far at the event (Tighe six, McClear five, Schaake five, Jake Rowe 4, Gonzalo Leal-Montero 2).
- McClear, Schaake, and Tighe each held the top spot on the leaderboard at different points in the day on Saturday.
- Iowa’ par-three stroke average of 3.3 ties for second best after the second day.
Iowa will be paired with Illinois and Michigan State — with tee times starting at 8:25 a.m. (CT) — in Sunday’s third and final round of the 2021 Big Ten Championships.