GALLOWAY, N.J. – The University of Iowa men’s golf team is tied for fifth place after two rounds at the Big Ten Championships. Senior Mac McClear is tied for first on the leaderboard at three-under par (139) heading into Sunday’s final round at Galloway National Golf Club.
McClear posted a season-best 66 (-5) on Saturday, drilling five birdies while going bogey-free at the Golf Digest top-150 ranked venue. The 18-hole score marks a personal-best since Feb. 15, 2022, at the Puerto Rico Classic.
McClear is tied with Northwestern’s Daniel Svard. The two lead the field by one stroke.
With a victory tomorrow, McClear would become Iowa’s first two-time Big Ten Champion. He previously was medalist at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, where he led Iowa to a second-place finish at Crooked Stick Golf Club.
The Hawkeyes combined for a one-under par (283) team score on Saturday, beating their first-round results by 23 strokes in much-improved weather conditions. A 90-minute delay in the morning helped clear the course following Friday’s rain and heavy winds, and weather was a non-factor by Saturday’s back nine.
Senior Ronan Kleu shot 70 (-1) in round two, moving up to 20th on the leaderboard heading into the final round. Kleu made four birdies and an eagle in the second round.
Freshman Hogan Hansen is close behind, tied for 31st at 150 (+8). He would need to close a two-stroke gap to earn the fourth top-25 finish of his young collegiate career.
No. 3 Illinois leads the team race, currently ahead of the field by 17 strokes at eight-under par (560).
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH TYLER STITH
“We missed an opportunity to finish off a very good round. Fortunately, we finished the day where we started. I believe we definitely gained some confidence out there. We know we can execute the shots needed to play this course. We’ve been around the course three times now, so we know what’s required for tomorrow.”
- McClear was medalist at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, one of four collegiate victories for the Iowa veteran; with a fifth individual win tomorrow, McClear would become the winningest Hawkeye since 1976 (Lonnie Nielsen, six individual victories).
- Previous Big Ten medalists at Iowa include Carson Schaake (2015), Brad Klapprott (1992) and John Jacobs (1946).
- Iowa’s 13-under par (4.68) effort on par fives ranks third in the field through two rounds.
- McClear is tied for first in par four stroke average (3.94) and tied for second in par five stroke average (4.38) after 36 holes.
- Iowa is tied with No. 25 Ohio State in fifth place at 589 (+21); the Hawkeyes would need to close a three-stroke gap to finish inside the top four at the conference tournament for the eighth time in the past 10 outings.
The final round of the Big Ten Championships tees off at 7 a.m. (CT) on Sunday at Galloway National Golf Club.