Sept. 15, 2013
BURLINGTON, Iowa -- University of Iowa senior men's golfer Ryan Marks paced the Hawkeyes with a one-over-par 73 on Sunday during the opening round of the 15-team Golfweek Conference Challenge. Iowa is in ninth in the annual event held at Spirit Hollow Golf Course after posting a 298 (+10).
"Today's round was pretty solid," said Marks. "I was able to put some good holes together. I made a few birdies to start. I had a little hiccup on No. 8 and 9, but other than that, played really solid golf. It was nice to finish the round off with a birdie on No. 18 to get going into tomorrow."
Marks started his round with two birdies, before posting five-straight pars. The Warrensburg, Mo., native finished the last two holes of the front nine a combined three-over par, before firing an even-par 36 on the back nine. Marks is tied for 19th.
"It is our first round of the year, and we need to handle our nerves a little better and get in the flow of things," said UI head coach Mark Hankins. "We had a little rain delay at the start that our guys shrugged off pretty well. We really started playing well on the back. A couple of our guys made a little comeback on the last few holes, and we came up a few spots, which is nice going into tomorrow. Hopefully, we can go out tomorrow and shoot a better number."
All five Hawkeyes posted a lower score on the back nine.
Iowa is nine strokes back of Houston who leads the team race, posting a 289 (+1). Oklahoma and New Mexico are tied for second (290). Tyler Merkel of Ball State carded the low round of the day, firing a three-under-par 69.
"We need to keep playing our game and put good rounds together the next two days," said Marks. "Everyone knows what they need to do. I would like to keep playing solid golf. I am swinging the club really well right now."
The second round of action at the Golfweek Conference Challenge will resume on Monday, with tee times running from 9 a.m. through 11:06 a.m. off holes No. 1 and No. 10. Play concludes Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Live stats are available at golfstat.com.