April 20, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The University of Iowa men's golf team won the Boilermaker Invitational for the second consecutive season on Sunday, capturing its second tournament title is as many weeks. The Hawkeyes carded a one-over-par 54-hole score of 865, with a 14-under-par final round score of 274, tied for the second-best team 18-hole score in program history.
Senior Steven Ihm, who began the day in a tie for 10th place, defended his 2013 title with a seven-under-par 209 (72, 73, 64), posting a career-best eight-under-par 64 in his final round. Ihm birdied seven of his first eight holes to begin the final day en route to posting the second-best individual 18-hole score in program history.
"It feels good to get another win and to have the team playing well this time of the year," said Ihm, the reigning Big Ten Golfer of the Week. "We played well on a tough course with a tough field. Today, things just clicked, and I was able to get on a roll and ride the momentum throughout my final round."
The victory, which is the fourth of Ihm's career, comes one week after he won the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational in Iowa City. Iowa entered Sunday's final round in fourth place and trailed Big Ten opponent Illinois by 10 strokes. The Hawkeyes used the second-best round in school history (-14) to surge into first place, jumping nationally ranked UCLA and Louisville.
Freshman Raymond Knoll ended the tournament in a tie for sixth, the best finish of his career. Knoll carded a one-under-par 215 (78, 71, 66). Knoll's final round score, a six-under-par 66, was the best of his career. Knoll played his last 18 holes bogey-free, notching six birdies in the process.
"I played steady and didn't make many mistakes today," said Knoll. "I was able to stay away from bogeys in my final round. Whenever I did make mistakes, I made them in the right places and was able to recover."
Junior Ian Vandersee finished in a tie for 11th after posting a two-over-par total score of 218 (76, 72, 70). Vandersee birdied 11 holes over three rounds.
Junior Brian Bullington carded an eight-over-par 224 (74, 76, 74) in three rounds, finishing in a tie for 39th. Bullington earned par on 34 of 54 holes.
Freshman Carson Schaake finished 51st after firing a 11-over-par 227 (78, 75, 74).
Head coach Mark Hankins earned his 11th tournament title while at the helm of the Hawkeyes.
"Our guys were able to stay in the present and focus in on their individual goals today. The course was in good shape, the weather was good, and we took advantage," said Hankins. "Steven came out today and wasn't afraid to go low. He's had a lot of good rounds, but today's was one of the better rounds he's ever played."
Iowa has recorded top finishes in all five of its events this spring, winning two tournament titles (Hawkeye-GRE, Boilermaker Invitational). The Hawkeyes placed fourth at the Big Ten Match Play Championships, won the Big Four Championship, and finished runner-up at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational.
The Hawkeyes return to action on May 2-4 at the Big Ten Championships in French Lick, Ind.
1. IOWA - 865 (+1)
2. Illinois - 866 (+2)
3. UCLA - 871 (+7)
4. Louisville - 875 (+11)
5.Ohio State - 879 (+15)
6. Northwestern - 883 (+19)
7. Purdue - 888 (+24)
8. Kent State - 889 (+25)
T9. Michigan State - 895 (+31)
T9. Indiana - 299 (+31)
11. Wichita State - 897 (+33)
T12. Miami (OH) - 904 (+40)
T12. Northern Illinois - 904 (+40)
14. Toledo - 909 (+45)
15. Drake - 918 (+54)