April 15, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa men's golf team picked up its eighth tournament title under head coach Mark Hankins, capturing the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment championship Sunday afternoon at Finkbine Golf Course. Iowa's winning score of 840 (-24) is a Hawkeye Invitational 54-hole record and the third lowest mark in school history.
Conditions were much tougher at Finkbine Sunday, with winds gusting to over 30 miles per hour throughout the day.
With all competitors on the course during the shotgun start format, the Hawkeyes led Iowa State by one stroke with approximately three holes left to play. Freshman Joseph Winslow birdied his final two holes and sophomore Steven Ihm drained a birdie on his final hole to help seal the win.
"The goal out here for us is to play as well as we can individually," Winslow said. "To do that, you have to go out there and play the best you can on every hole. I wasn't too happy after not playing 18 the way I wanted to and came around to holes one and two and really played them both really solidly. I knew it was going to be close, not knowing exactly where we were at though. I knew I needed to play the best I could and I just went out there and did it."
""First of all, the numbers were records," Hankins said. "We shot a 274 yesterday which is 14-under par for the round, which is amazing. Chris Brant with a 66, Barrett with a 68 and some other guys pitching in there nicely, and finishing with a total of 24-under. Finkbine was in awesome shape. It was great for us to come out with a lead after day one and hold it for day two after the bad weather. I was very pleased with the guys.
"Every golf course is different," Hankins added. "Sometimes even par is a low number, so we figured out on day one that the winds were really low, the greens were a bit softer than normal and the scores were good. The guys had to adapt to that and did a nice job, especially in the second round. They played really well."
Senior Chris Brant finished runner-up at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational with a three-round total of 208 (-8), which is the third-best 54-hole score in program history. Brant tallied nine pars on the front nine to shoot an even 36. He birdied 15, but finished with two bogeys to shoot a 73 (+1) in the final round.
Iowa State's Nate McCoy won the individual title with a Hawkeye Invitational record 202 (-14).
""I was a little disappointed about today," Brant said. "I played well all week so no regrets, but I just couldn't get it going today. I finished at eight-under on the week and I'm not too disappointed about that. Nate [McCoy] played well and it would have been tough to catch him today."
Senior Barrett Kelpin also finished inside the top five, carding a 211 (-5) to tie for fifth place. Kelpin added a 71 (-1) in the final round of play. He started with birdies on holes 1 and 2, bogeyed the fifth and bounced back with birdies on 6 and 7. A bogey on hole 8 brought his front nine mark to 34. Kelpin then bogeyed 10, but birdied 15. After a bogey on 17 and a par on 18, Kelpin carded a 37 on the back nine for his 71.
Sophomore Ian Vandersee finished tied for seventh with a 212 (-4). He also shot a final round 71 (-1). Vandersee double-bogeyed the third hole, but drained three birdies to make the turn at -1. He dropped two more birdies on 10 and 11, but bogeyed 14 and 15. Vandersee finished with four-consecutive pars for his 71.
Vandersee led the field of 60 competitors in birdies, carding 16 in three rounds of play.
Freshman Joseph Winslow finished his first home tournament with a 10th place finish at 214 (-2), including a final round tally of 70 (-2). Winslow started with three-straight pars and got into red numbers with a birdie on seven. He fired seven-straight pars before a birdie on the par-5 15th. Winslow bogeyed 18 before his crucial birdies on holes 1 and 2.
Sophomore Steven Ihm finished inside the top-15, tying for 11th place with an even par 216. He carded an even par 72 in the final round. Ihm started with a bogey and made five pars in a row before another bogey on hole 9. Ihm followed a bogey on 12 with one of five eagles carded on hole 15 during the day. He backed up the eagle with four pars before the clutch birdie on his final hole.
Ihm had the second most pars (39) among competitors on the weekend.
Five Iowa golfers also competed as individuals at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational.
Senior Brad George recorded the highest individual finish of his Hawkeye career, placing fourth with the fifth-best 54-hole mark in school history at 210 (-6). George carded a 73 (+1) in the final round, tallying two bogeys and seven pars on the back, along with one birdie and eight pars on the front.
"My round today was more of a struggle than yesterday, more challenging, mostly due to the conditions," George said. "I kind of had a hard time with my putting to start off, but I managed to keep it together after being two over after seven holes. I managed to battle back and shoot one under par coming in, which was good.
"As far as the whole tournament, I'm pretty pleased with how I came in and prepared for this tournament; my ball striking was good, and overall my putting was good, so just overall pleased."
Senior Jed Dirksen finished tied for 21st with a 219 (+3) after shooting a 76 (+4) Sunday. Dirksen had four birdies and eight bogeys on the day.
Freshman Brian Bullington improved 15 spots on Sunday, finishing tied for 21st with a 219 (+3). He shot a 71 (-1) in the final round, registering a 34 (-2) on the back nine.
Senior Jared Walahoski finished 33rd with a 224 (+8), carding a 74 (+2) in the final round. Walahoski recorded two birdies on the day on holes 11 and 13.
Sophomore Ryan Marks rounded out Iowa's individual scoring in a tie for 36th place at 224 (+8). He shot a final round 74 (+2), shooting 35 (-1) on the front nine.
The Hawkeyes will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., next weekend to compete in the Boilermaker Invitational. Live scoring for action on Saturday and Sunday can be found at golfstat.com.
"We did play well this weekend," Brant said. "Twenty-something under par is good; especially with weather like today. I think it's just going to be a catapult for the rest of the year. Obviously, getting our first win this week is important as we go into postseason. Next week at Purdue is going to be vital."
"Today was a tougher golf course so we had to re-adjust to that and even par was good," Hankins said. "Overall, we're learning and playing well. We've got some confidence with a second place finish at LSU and first place this weekend. We go to Purdue and we'll try to adapt to that golf course as quickly as we can."