March 23, 2014
TEMPE, Ariz. - The University of Iowa men's golf team closed out the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational on Sunday with a runner-up finish, its highest of the 2013-14 season.
Despite carding their highest score of all three rounds with a 282 (-2), the Hawkeyes closed the tournament with sole possession of second place. Iowa finished ten strokes ahead of third place finisher Arizona, and 20 strokes behind tournament host and victor Arizona State.
"Conditions were difficult today, and we really showed that we could stay the course, execute from shot to shot and finish strong," said head coach Mark Hankins.
Junior Brian Bullington and senior Steven Ihm were the top performers for Iowa, finishing in third and tying for fourth respectively. Bullington posted a final round score of 68 (-3) to close the event with a 206 (-7), clinching the best finish of his career. Ihm carded a 70 (-1) in his final round to push his total score to 207 (-6), notching his best finish of the season. Both Ihm and Bullington's 54-hole scores were the best of their careers.
"Brian and Steven both had it going at different times this week," said Hankins. "I was most pleased with their resolve today, as we battled the host school and never gave an inch."
Junior Ian Vandersee jumped from 24th to a tie for 17th place on the final day, posting a 70 (-1) and closing with a 212 (-1). The West Des Moines, Iowa, native tallied four birdies in his final round.
Freshman Raymond Knoll finished in a tie for 32nd, carding a 74 (+3) for a three-day total of 217 (+4), the best 54-hole score of his collegiate career. Knoll began the day in a tie for 33rd.
Sophomore Voramate Aussarassakorn closed the tournament with an 80 (+9) in his final round, bringing his total to a 224 (+13) and earning a tie for 56th.
"Our team depth and contributions as individuals made this runner-up finish a reality," said Hankins.
The Hawkeyes are back in action on April 12-13 with the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational, their lone home tournament of the spring season, at Finkbine Golf Course. Iowa earned a second place finish in last year's event.
1. Arizona State - 817 (-35)
2. IOWA - 837 (-15)
3. Arizona - 847 (-5)
4. Pepperdine - 848 (-4)
5. Iowa State - 851 (-1)
6. San Diego - 860 (+8)
7. Wichita State - 861 (+9)
T8. Washington State - 866 (+14)
T8. New Mexico State - 866 (+14)
T8. Tulsa - 866 (+14)
11. Denver - 875 (+23)
T12. Colorado State - 879 (+27)
T12. Hawaii - 879 (+27)
14. St. John's - 882 (+30)
15. Fresno State - 891 (+39)