PALM COAST, Fla. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round at Big Ten Match Play following a pair of victories on Friday. Iowa bested Minnesota, 4-1, in the opening round before upsetting two-seed Northwestern, 3-2.
All five Hawkeyes competing on Friday picked up individual victories, including junior Mac McClear and sophomore Callum Macfie, who remain undefeated through two rounds.
McClear won his opening round match against Minnesota’s Antoine Sale by a 5-and-3 margin, while Macfie earned a 4-and-3 victory over Harrison Arnold. Junior Garrett Tighe got things rolling with a 5-and-4 win to open the day, while junior Ronan Kleu won 3-and-2 at the top of the lineup.
In the afternoon, McClear downed Northwestern’s John Driscoll to stay perfect on the day, while senior Gonzalo Leal Montero added a crucial team point with a 3-and-1 victory over Eric McIntosh at the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
It all came down to Macfie’s 18th hole, where the Yorkshire, England, native drained the winning putt to secure a 1-up victory over Cameron Adam and clinch the Hawkeye win.
Iowa 4, Minnesota 1
Ronan Kleu (Iowa) def. Lincoln Johnson (UM), 3-and-2
Ben Warian (UM) def. Gonzalo Leal Montero (Iowa), 2-and-1
Mac McClear (Iowa) def. Antoine Sale (UM), 5-and-3
Callum Macfie (Iowa) def. Harrison Arnold (UM), 4-and-3
Garrett Tighe (Iowa) def. Connor Glynn (UM), 5-and-4
Iowa 3, Northwestern 2
David Nyfjal (NU) def. Ronan Kleu (Iowa), 1-UP
Gonzalo Leal Montero (Iowa) def. Eric McIntosh (NU), 3-and-1
Mac McClear (Iowa) def. John Driscoll (NU), 5-and-4
Callum Macfie (Iowa) def. Cameron Adam (NU), 1-up
James Imai (NU) def. Garrett Tighe (Iowa), 1-up
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“The team had a great mindset this morning. We got off to a really good start in our first match against Minnesota, and we just kind of carried that momentum all the way through. We were in control more or less the whole morning, winning four of the five matches all pretty comfortably. The guys were just really solid, they had a great mindset. Prepared, focused, and ready for the day.
This afternoon, we played against a really good team in Northwestern. We knew it was going to be a tough match and come down to the wire. We had a couple of guys flip matches. Gonzalo [Leal Montero] was behind, then he came back and won. Callum [Macfie] was behind and then came back and won. Callum birdied the last hole to win his match and clinch the victory for the team. It was just a great day overall. The guys worked extremely hard. They’re feeling good, but we’ve got to focus and get ready to go again tomorrow.”
- Iowa finished second at the 2021 Big Ten Match Play Championships, defeating Nebraska (3-2), Penn State (3-2), and Michigan State (3-2) before falling to Indiana (2-3) in the final.
- McClear, the reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion, improves to 5-3-1 in his career at Big Ten Match Play heading into the final day of competition.
The Hawkeyes tee off their third-round match against Michigan State at 7 a.m. (CT). Purdue and Indiana will face off in the other semifinal match, with championship and third-place matches to follow starting at noon (CT).