IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa seniors Mac McClear, Ronan Kleu, and Gonzalo Leal Montero have been named 2022-23 Big Ten Men’s Golfers to Watch. This is the second conference preseason honor for all three Hawkeye golfers.
Both McClear and Kleu earned preseason recognition last year. McClear would finish the season as a second team All-Big Ten honoree after leading Iowa in stroke average (72.2) through a team-high 33 rounds of play. The Hinsdale, Illinois, native posted eight top-25 finishes in 11 outings and placed in the top 10 on four occasions while leading the Hawkeyes with 14 rounds at or below par.
McClear qualified to compete individually at NCAA Regionals in Norman, Oklahoma, where he tied for 14th at 214 (-2) through 54 holes. This summer, he finished as co-medalist at the US Open local qualifier at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course, shooting 69 (-3). McClear also was medalist at the Joliet Amateur Championships at Wedgewood Golf Course and the Illinois State Amateur at Westmoreland Country Club this offseason.
In 2021, McClear was medalist at the Big Ten Championships and earned unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors. He has been named to the Division I PING All-Midwest team in back-to-back seasons.
Kleu joined the Hawkeye program last fall as a transfer from Columbus State, where he racked up numerous honors, including 2021 Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year. He finished second in stroke average for the Hawkeyes last season (73.1) on his way to six top-25 finishes and two top-10 showings. A native of Zollikerberg, Switzerland, Kleu joined McClear in competing individually at the NCAA Regional in Norman.
Leal Montero last earned conference preseason honors heading into the 2019 season. The Hawkeye veteran competed in all 11 events last season, averaging 73.3 strokes through 30 rounds of action. Leal Montero’s .967 percentage of rounds counted led Iowa last season, and he ranked second on the team with 12 rounds at or below par.
The Hawkeyes tee off the fall slate at the Fighting Irish Classic Sept. 4-5 at Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Indiana.