GALLOWAY, N.J. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team is in fifth place after round one at the Big Ten Championships. Senior Mac McClear is tied for fourth at 73 (+2) at the par-71 Galloway National Golf Club.
Rain and wind were factors on Friday at the Golf Digest top-150 venue. The Hawkeyes combined for a 306 (+22) first round, presently 14 strokes back from No. 3 Illinois in the lead at eight-over par (292).
Iowa is six strokes behind No. 25 Ohio State in fourth place; in nine events since 2013, the Hawkeyes have finished inside the top four on seven occasions (the tournament was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
McClear opened his day with a string of three consecutive birdies starting off No. 10. He finished the round with four birdies, matching the most in the field through 18 holes.
Medalist at the Big Ten Championships in 2021, McClear also has individuals wins this season at the Iowa Fall Classic and Hawkeye Invitational. His top-five standing puts him in contention to become the first Hawkeye since Lonnie Nielsen in 1976 to earn five career collegiate victories (Nielsen finished with six).
Senior Ronan Kleu posted Iowa’s other top-25 performance in the first round, tying for 22nd at 77 (+6).
Junior Callum Macfie and freshman Hogan Hansen are each one stroke behind, tied for 28th after shooting 78 (+7) to open the tournament.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“Conditions were tough today. Rain and strong wind on the back nine… We would like to have a few back, but it’s done. All we can do now is get ourselves ready for tomorrow and be up for the challenge.
Mac [McClear] is in a great position with two rounds to go. He’s been in this spot before. He has what it takes mentally and physically to win in these conditions.”
- Iowa’s 11 birdies matched the second most on Friday; McClear led with four birdies, followed by Macfie with three birdies.
- The Hawkeyes made big putts on par fives; Iowa was 4.80 (-4) on par fives, tying for third in the field.
- McClear’s 4.11 (+1) stroke average on par fours ties for first in the field after one round.
Round two at the Big Ten Championships tees off at 8 a.m. (CT). The final round at Galloway National Golf Club is scheduled for Sunday morning.