May 7, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Three University of Iowa men's golfers -- senior Steven Ihm and juniors Brian Bullington and Ian Vandersee -- have earned All-Big Ten honors, the conference announced Wednesday. Ihm was named first team All-Big Ten for the second consecutive year, while Bullington and Vandersee earned their first career second team All-Big Ten honors. Bullington earned Iowa's Sportmanship Award nomination.
"I am so proud of our three upperclassmen for putting in the work this entire year to deserve All-Big Ten honors," said UI head coach Mark Hankins. "Steven with two wins and a great scoring average on the year had another solid resume that placed him among the top players in the conference.
"Ian and Brian each had great tournaments along with some solid play throughout the fall and spring to finish among the best in the conference and earn their first all-conference awards. They have all contributed to a strong team season to this point and will continue to be individually motivated in an effort to realize their remaining goals for this season. I'm thankful to the Big Ten Conference for their support of men's golf and these awards that help to make our student-athlete and coaches time and effort noteworthy."
Iowa earned three of the 12 All-Big Ten spots, tying Illinois for the most in the conference. Iowa last had three golfers earn postseason conference honors in 2012 (Barrett Kelpin, Chris Brant, Steven Ihm).
Ihm, who leads Iowa with a 71.35 scoring average, was most recently named to the Big Ten Championships All-Tournament team after placing fifth in the event on May 2-4. The Peosta, Iowa, native has earned medalist honors in two events (Hawkeye-GRE, Boilermaker Invitational) this season, and has posted Iowa's top individual finish in five tournaments. Ihm also has a team-high six top-10 finishes to go along with 19 rounds at or below par.
In addition, Ihm has been named Big Ten Golfer of the Week two times this season, following his tournament victories at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational and the Boilermaker Invitational. He has earned the honor five times in his Hawkeye career and is currently ranked 45th in the Golfstat Individual rankings. Golfweek also named Ihm as national Player of the Week on April 21. Ihm becomes the first Hawkeye to earn three All-Big Ten honors in a career.
Vandersee has posted Iowa's top individual finish in two events this season, with his top performance coming at the U.S. Collegiate Invitational, where he tied for fourth. Vandersee has the second-lowest scoring average (72.77) of all Hawkeye golfers in addition to having the second-most top-20 finishes (4). The West Des Moines, Iowa, native carded the best 72-hole score of his career (299; +11) at the Big Ten Championships, tying for seventh individually.
Bullington, who holds the third-best scoring average of all Iowa golfers (73.08), posted the best 54-hole score of his career (206; -7) at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational en route to a third place finish. Bullington has carded the second-most rounds at or below par (11) on the team, and is tied with Vandersee for the second-most top-10 finishes (2).
Hankins has now coached individuals to 11 All-Big Ten honors in his seven years at Iowa. The Hawkeyes had only 16 All-Big Ten honorees before Hankins arrived in 2008.
On Monday, Iowa was selected to the NCAA Columbia Regional, earning its sixth-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Iowa is one of three Big Ten teams to be selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last six years. The tournament, from which the top five teams will advance to the NCAA finals, will be held at The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia, Mo., on May 15-17. The Hawkeyes will seek their fourth NCAA Championship Finals berth in the past six years.