July 8, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Former University of Iowa men's golf standout Steven Ihm has quite the resume.
Ihm, a three-time PING All-Region honoree, became the first Hawkeye to earn three All-Big Ten honors in his career.
Ihm won the third and fourth individual tournament titles (Hawkeye-GRE Invitational, Boilermaker Invitational) of his career as a senior in 2014, tying former Hawkeyes Brad Klapprott and Sean McCarty for the second-most career tournament victories in program history.
Following his fifth place finish at the 2014 Big Ten Tournament Championships, Ihm was named to the tournament's All-Championship team. Ihm was tabbed as the Big Ten Golfer of the Week five times in his career, and was named Golfweek National Player of the Week on April 21 following his victory at the Boilermaker Invitational. Ihm shot a final round 64 -- equaling the second-lowest round in program history -- leading the Hawkeyes to the team title.
In his career, Ihm registered two of the top four single-season scoring averages, and three of the top 16, in program history. His 2013-14 average of 71.45 is the second-best mark in program history, and helped lead Iowa to its sixth-straight NCAA Regional appearance.
Ihm joined elite company as he won the 60th Annual Sunnehanna Amateur in June, 2013.
The list goes on.
This week, Ihm will add another bullet to the resume when he makes his professional PGA TOUR debut at the John Deere Classic, weeks after closing out his career in Iowa City.
"I am honored for the opportunity to compete in the John Deere Classic again this year, and could not ask for a better tournament to make my pro debut," said Ihm. "This is a great chance for me to jump start my pro career, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity."
Ihm earned a sponsor's exemption to the John Deere Classic for the second-straight year. Ihm competed as an amateur last year and posted a 36-hole score of 140 (71, 69, -2), missing the cut by two strokes.
"Last year's tournament was fun; it was a great experience," said Ihm. "I learned that you have to go low. I always knew that, but you really do have to put the pedal to the metal. This year I'll try to do a better job by slowing down and staying a little more patient. Last year I got a little quick on a few of my shots. I need to slow down this year and concentrate on every shot."
Ihm, a native of Peosta, Iowa, will have one of the largest followings, watching his every shot. The group will feature plenty of black and gold. University of Iowa Day is Thursday.
"It will be cool being able to make my debut so close to home and have my entire family down there as well as a lot of people from Dubuque," said Ihm. "I will have a good following again this year, and that's what makes it fun too."
Ihm's days with the UI men's golf program have prepared him for the next step.
"We play a competitive schedule," said Ihm. "It has been fun seeing guys we played against enjoy success, and if they can do it, why not me?"
The 2014 John Deere Classic, held at the Tournament Players Club (TPC) Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, marks the 44th annual PGA TOUR event in the Quad Cities and the 16th year for John Deere as the title sponsor. This year's tournament, which features a purse of $4,700,000 and a winning share of $846,000, runs from July 8-13.
Ihm, who will don a `Tigerhawk' on his bag, is ready to tee it up.
"I am excited," said Ihm. "The summer has been building up to this event, and I have been working hard on everything. I will enjoy and relish this challenge."