Aug 30, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa men's golf program held the Fifth Annual Hawkeye Golf Alumni Challenge on Friday at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City.
For former Hawkeye golfers, it is the perfect opportunity to reunite with old friends and teammates.
"It is great to get everybody back here, guys we played with and the guys before us and after us," said former Hawkeye All-American Sean McCarty. "It is a great event. It is a good way to get everyone together and a great weekend to have it. It is great to see everybody come back."
The annual event is a must for former Hawkeye Vince India, despite a busy schedule. "I have played in a couple state opens and a couple qualifiers this summer," said India, the 2011 Big Ten Player of the Year. "This is our midseason break for PGA TOUR-Latino America. I am resting and working on my game and gearing up for a really busy fall.
"This event is the highlight of my summer. Especially, when all the guys make it back, it is great. I love reminiscing with everyone."
While the event creates a perfect get-together for former UI golfers, it also points to the direction of the program under seventh-year head coach Mark Hankins, who had guided Iowa to five-straight NCAA appearances.
"I feel proud to be a Hawkeye and an alum of this program," said India. "The work that coach (Hankins) has done since I got here is pretty close to revolutionary. He did a great job of revamping the program, bringing new talent in, improving the facilities; it is exactly what we needed to compete and recruit the best athletes in the country. He is the backbone of the golf team that is for sure."
"Mark has done a great job recruiting these guys and coaching them," said McCarty. "They are good quality players and quality young men as well."
"This event has created a sense of home and welcome for these guys," said UI head coach Mark Hankins. "We want to make sure they feel they are a part of our success. We hope they continue to come back year-after-year and enjoy the University of Iowa, Iowa City and Hawkeye athletics."
The UI men's golf team opens its season Sept. 15-17, hosting the annual GolfWeek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa.