FRENCH LICK, Ind. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team moved into ninth place heading into Sunday’s final round at the Big Ten Championships, moving up three spots during the second round. The Hawkeyes are within four strokes of the next two teams ahead of them on the tightly contested leaderboard. The Hawkeyes posted a 293 (+5) second round score, tying for the third-lowest round of the day.
A strong performance by junior Ronan Kleu helped propel Iowa on Saturday. The Zollikerberg, Switzerland, native drained seven birdies on the day on his way to a 69 (-3) round.
Kleu opened the day on the back nine, where he shot 32 (-4); the hot start continued as Kleu sank four consecutive birdies on holes No. 18 through No. 3. Kleu is tied for 28th on the leaderboard at 148 (+4) through two rounds.
Junior Garrett Tighe is Iowa’s low individual scorer heading into the third round, one stroke ahead of Kleu at 147 (+3). Tighe heads into Sunday’s play tied for 22nd.
Senior Gonzalo Leal Montero is next for Iowa, moving to a tie for 34th with a two-over par round of 74 on the day. He sits one stroke ahead of junior Mac McClear, who is tied for 38th at 150 (+6).
Michigan State leads the event at 577 (+1) through 36 holes. The 46th-ranked Spartans shot 25 strokes higher on Saturday than their first-round performance to drop their advantage over 19th-ranked Illinois to just one stroke with 18 holes to play.
|T-34||Gonzalo Leal Montero||75||74||—||+5||149|
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“Ronan [Kleu] played a great round. His talents were on display today. He’s been working hard and putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform. I’m happy for him to have a day like he did. Today was more challenging sure. The wind picked up quite a bit like it does out here. We played so much better today. The guys were ready to compete and fought hard.”
- Iowa’s 28 birdies through match the fourth most at the event through two rounds. The Hawkeyes are led by Kleu’s nine birdies, which tie for third most among individuals.
- The Big Ten Championships feature five GolfStat top 50 ranked teams; Iowa leads No. 27 Ohio State by 10 strokes (603), while No. 46 Michigan State (577), No. 19 Illinois (578), No. 25 Purdue (582), and No. 44 Northwestern (584) comprise the top four spots on the leaderboard.
The third and final round at the Big Ten Championships tees off at 7 a.m. (CT) Sunday at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.