Iowa Men's Golf Team Earns 3rd Consecutive NCAA Bid
May 9, 2011
IOWA CITY, IOWA - - The University of Iowa men's golf team was selected Monday evening to compete in NCAA Regional competition at Wolf Run Golf Course in Zionsville, Ind. Teams were selected to join one of six regional sites, with 13 or 14 teams competing at each site. The regionals will be held May 19-21, with 18 holes of play each day. Zionsville is near Indianapolis and Indiana University is the host school.
The Hawkeyes are the third seed in the 14-team Indiana Regional and are making their third straight NCAA post-season appearance. In the latest golf rankings, Iowa is ranked 14th in the nation in Golfstat's May 4 rankings and 18th nationally in Golfweek's May 8 rankings.
The top five teams and top individual, not on a qualifying team, in each region, advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held May 31-June 5 on the Karsten Creek Golf Course in Stillwater, Okla. Alabama is the top-seeded team in the Indiana region, followed by Big Ten champion Illinois. Stanford is the fourth seed and Wake Forest is fifth. Indiana is the seven seed and Michigan is ninth.
"The seeding is based on the national rankings," said Iowa Head Coach Mark Hankins. "We've been consistent in our play all season and our rankings show we are deserving of a three seed.
"Experience is extremely important in post-season play," added Hankins, who is in his fourth season with the Hawkeyes. "We have a good idea of what to expect. We haven't played Wolf Run, but it is a Midwestern-type course that is familiar to us. It is the caliber of tournament field we have faced all spring."
The NCAA berth comes after Iowa finished third at the Big Ten Championships. Iowa has finished second and third, respectively, in the two most recent Big Ten Championships, its best-ever back-to-back performances.
Individually, senior Vince India was named men's Golfer of the Year in the Big Ten and earned the Les Bolstad Award, honoring the conference golfer with the lowest stroke average for the entire fall and spring seasons. His stroke average of 71.08 per round marks the best season average in school history and he is just the second Iowa golfer to earn the Bolstad Award. India and fellow senior Brad Hopfinger earned first team all-Big Ten honors. Junior Chris Brant earned second team all-conference honors. Hopfinger recorded five straight top-20 finishes in the fall and placed in the top 10 at three events. Brant was named to the all-tournament team at the conference championships. Brant shot even-par over the four rounds of the conference meet to place second in the individual standings.
"Our goal every year is to make the NCAA tournament," added Hankins. "At this point you prepare properly for three days of competition and try to go out and win the tournament. We understand what we have to do. You have to have those expectations because it's an elimination tournament."
In order of their respective seeding, the Indiana Regional will consist of Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Stanford, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Indiana, Florida State, Michigan, UNC-Charlotte, Memphis, Wichita State, Missouri-Kansas City and Sacred Heart.
Iowa is one of seven Big Ten programs advancing to regional competition. In addition to the four programs at the Indiana Regional, Ohio State is the fifth seed at the California Regional, Purdue is the ninth seed at the Arizona Regional and Northwestern is the 10th seed at the Colorado Regional.
Iowa tied for sixth place in regional competition a year ago, falling one stroke shy of advancing to the NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes advanced through regional play in 2009, placing 17th in the nation at the NCAA Championships. Four of Iowa's five players from the 2009 and 2010 post season line-ups will compete for the Hawkeyes at the Indiana Regional.