Iowa Places Third at Big Ten Match Play Championships
Feb. 9, 2013
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The University of Iowa men's golf team earned a third-place finish at the 2013 Big Ten Match Play Championships after defeating Ohio State in the third place match Saturday afternoon. Iowa defeated the Buckeyes, 3.5-1.5, to close the event on a high note. Action was held at the 7,474 yard, par-72 Concession Golf Course.
The third-seeded Hawkeyes finished with a 2-1 team record at the event, while going 9-5-1 in individual matches. It's Iowa's highest finish at the event since placing third in the 2010 Big Ten Match Play Championships.
"I thought we were engaged from the first hole on and got out to same good leads (against Ohio State)," said head coach Mark Hankins. "We're happy to get a team win against a quality Big Ten opponent. I think this type of event and this type of practice can pay dividends later in the year when we get to medal play tournaments, so this was a positive week for us."
The Hawkeyes came up just short in the semifinals against Michigan State this morning, falling 3-2. For the second match in a row, freshman Nate Yankovich scored Iowa's first point with a dominating victory over Michigan State's Gareth Blease. Yankovich won the match, 7&5. Sophomore Joseph Winslow won Iowa's other point with a two-up victory against Mitch Rutledge in the No. 2 match.
Iowa rebounded with a big victory over Ohio State, clinching a third-place finish. Sophomore Brian Bullington tied the team score at 1-1 with a big victory over Max Rosenthal, winning 6&5. Sophomore Ian Vandersee and Winslow clinched the team victory, each winning their matches 2&1. Vandersee beat Tee-K Kelly in the No. 3 match while Winslow topped Grant Weaver in the No. 2 match. Junior Steven Ihm halved his No. 1 match against Boo Timko.
"It was fun being under the pressure again, and I'm really happy about how the team responded to this week," said Ihm. "It's our first tournament and there is going to be some rust there, but we played well and picked up two victories."
Winslow, Vandersee, Bullington and Yankovich each finished the tournament with a 2-1 record while Ihm finished 1-1-1.
"We're excited about our result," said Vandersee. "I think we proved this week that if we play how we are supposed to play, or even just average, we can hang with anybody. We'll get back to work, and hopefully build off this tournament."
Top-seeded Illinois won the championship, defeating Michigan State in the finals.
Iowa returns to action on Feb. 16th for the Big Four Championships in Chandler, Ariz. The Hawkeyes will meet in-state foes Drake, Iowa State and Northern Iowa at the Lone Tree Golf Club.
SEMIFINALS Michigan State 3, Iowa 2