PALM COAST, Fla. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team finished in third place Saturday at the Big Ten Match Play Championships. Iowa fell to third-seeded Michigan State, 4-1, in the semifinal round before defeating top-seeded Purdue on tie-breaking criteria in a 2.5-2.5 third-place match. Iowa earned the win by virtue of total holes won. Fourth-seeded Indiana won the event with a finals win over the Spartans.
Junior Garrett Tighe won both of his individual matches on Saturday, bringing his record to 3-1 on the weekend. Tighe downed Michigan State’s Troy Taylor II, by a 3-and-1 margin in the morning before earning Iowa a crucial 5-and-4 victory over Boilermaker Nic Hoffman in the first decision of the Purdue match to be completed.
Junior Mac McClear joined Tighe with a team-best 3-1 record at the event. After dropping a semifinal match Saturday morning, McClear bounced back with a 3-and-2 victory over Purdue’s Luke Prall. McClear, the reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion, improves to 6-4-1 in his career at Big Ten Match Play.
Sophomore Calllum Macfie was another Hawkeye standout on the week. After sinking the match-clinching putt against Northwestern on Friday afternoon, Macfie battled back to produce a tie against Purdue’s Andrew Farraye to once again secure crucial team points. He won his 17th hole to tie his match.
Macfie’s match brought the team scores to a 2.5-2.5 draw, which was broken by Iowa’s 8-3 advantage in total holes won throughout the match.
Michigan State 4, Iowa 1
James Piot (MSU) def. Ronan Kleu (Iowa), 2-and-1
Ashton McCulloch (MSU) def. Gonzalo Leal Montero (Iowa), 5-and-4
Bradley Smithson (MSU) def. Mac McClear (MSU), 2-and-1
August Meekhof (MSU) def. Callum Macfie (Iowa), 3-and-2
Garrett Tighe (Iowa) def. Tory Taylor II (MSU) 5-and-3
Iowa 2.5, Purdue 2.5
Joe Weiler (PU) def. Ronan Kleu (Iowa), 1-up
Nick Dentino (PU) def. Gonzalo Leal Montero (Iowa), 2-up
Mac McClear (Iowa) def. Luke Prall (PU), 3-and-2
Callum Macfie (Iowa) tied Andrew Farraye (PU)
Garrett Tighe (Iowa) def. Nic Hofman (PU), 5-and-4
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“Credit to Michigan State, they played well in the morning match. The weather conditions were challenging. It was cold and windy all day. The guys showed a lot a character and bounced back with a win this afternoon.
We had several good performances this week. Garrett [Tighe] and Mac [McClear] both went 3-1. Callum [Macfie] picked up crucial points against Northwestern and Purdue.”
- Iowa places third at Big Ten Match Play with a first-round victory over Minnesota (4-1), second-round win over Northwestern (3-2), semifinal defeat to Michigan State (4-1), and final-round victory over Purdue (2.5-2.5).
- The Hawkeyes defeated the tournament overall No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in Purdue and Northwestern, respectively.
Iowa heads to the Rico Mar Beach Resort on Feb. 13-15 for the Puerto Rico Classic hosted by Purdue University.