RIVERSIDE, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s golf team won the team championship at the Iowa Fall Classic on Monday. Senior Mac McClear was the individual medalist and four Hawkeyes finished inside the top five on the leaderboard.
It was another chilly day at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course, but Iowa came into the third round hot, overcoming a one-stroke Valparaiso lead heading into the day to finish six strokes ahead of the field at 884 (+20).
McClear led the tournament wire-to-wire, shooting even-par (72) on Monday to finish at 214 (-2) through 54 holes. The former Big Ten Champion earned his third career medalist honor, outpacing the competition by three strokes. McClear’s 12 birdies tied for the most in the field, as did his 3.08 stroke average on par threes and 4.97 average on par fives. The Iowa Fall Classic marks McClear’s second top-five finish in as many weeks, having tied for fifth at the Purdue Fall Invitational last week.
Junior Callum Macfie, who was competing as an individual, tied Hawkeye seniors Garrett Tighe and Ronan Kleu for fourth at 220 (+4) for the week. Macfie shot even par on Sunday, capitalizing on a career best 18-hole score in the first round to secure the highest finish of his collegiate career.
Tighe fired the best third round score in the field, shooting 68 (-4) to move up 12 spots on Monday. The Algonquin, Illinois, native sank four birdies and an eagle in the final round to help clinch the Iowa team championship. Kleu shot 73 (+1) in the third round to secure the top-five finish.
Sophomore Ian Meyer and freshman Hogan Hansen rounded out the Iowa lineup with top-25 finishes of their own. Meyer shot 230 (+14) to for 17th, while Hansen finished his first collegiate start tied for 24th at 233 (+17). Junior Felipe Pedraza also tied for 17th competing as an individual. All seven Hawkeyes competing in Riverside placed inside the top 25 on the leaderboard.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“I’m proud. Both days, it was not easy at all. Yesterday afternoon things got difficult. We didn’t play well; we didn’t finish well. But the guys were ready to play today. They came back and showed they had a lot of character. An even-par team score in these conditions is really good play. Everybody was in the round. All five guys had a chance to score. We are really proud of the effort today.”
- McClear’s three career individual title are the most since current Iowa volunteer assistant Steven Ihm achieved four medalist honors in 2014.
- Iowa led the field in stroke average on par threes (3.23), par fours (4.18), and par fives (4.93); the Hawkeyes also finished first in pars (156) and tied for first in birdies (41) and eagles (1).
Iowa travels to Wilmington, North Carolina, for the Williams Cup at Eagle Point Golf Club.