Oct. 15, 2013
The University of Iowa men's golf team travels to Atlanta, Ga., to compete in the eighth annual U.S. Collegiate Championship, hosted by Georgia Tech, on Oct. 18-20. The tournament will be held at The Lakeside Course on the Golf Club of Georgia. Live stats will be available via GolfStat.com.
The 15-team field is headed by host and last year's tournament champion, Georgia Tech, who has won two of the last three U.S. Collegiate Championship l tournaments. In order of their 2012 finish, the remaining field consists of UCLA, Southern California, Virginia, Stanford, Duke, Clemson, Washington, Auburn, Oklahoma State, East Tennessee State, Wake Forest, Kent State, Texas A&M, and Iowa.
PREVIOUS APPEARANCES AT U.S. COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Hawkeyes placed 15th in last year's event. Steven Ihm and Brian Bullington tied for 28th and 34th respectively. In 2011, Iowa tied for fifth place, with Steven Ihm tying for eighth place after shooting a three-under par 213 tournament total.
The Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia was established in 1991, and has been the home of the U.S. Collegiate Championship for all eight years of its existence. The par-72 course plays 7,020 yards from the longest tees.
Senior Steven Ihm heads the Hawkeye lineup for the tournament. Ihm has played in the event the past two years, tying for 28th place in 2012 and tying for eighth in 2011. Junior Brian Bullington makes his second career appearance at the U.S. Collegiate after tying for 34th last season. Junior Ian Vandersee makes his third career appearance at the event after tying for 71st in 2012 and tying for 49th in 2011. Junior Joseph Winslow returns to the event for the second time, after tying for 74th last season. Freshman Raymond Knoll will make his first career appearance at the tournament.
The University of Iowa men's golf team carded a 293 (+5) to improve their place in the overall standings from its first two rounds, moving from 10th to ninth place on the final day of the Rod Myers Invitational. The Hawkeyes scored a three-round total of 883 (+19) in the tournament.
FIVE STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Since taking command of the University of Iowa men's golf program in 2007, head coach Mark Hankins has established the Hawkeyes as a competitive force in collegiate golf. Iowa has advanced to NCAA Regionals each of the past five seasons, and has advanced to the NCAA Finals three of the last five seasons.
IHM WINS SUNNEHANNA AMATEUR
Senior Steven Ihm joined elite company as he won the 60th Annual Sunnehanna Amateur on June 16th. PGA TOUR professionals such as Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, and Lucas Glover won the same event early in their careers. The Peosta, Iowa, native shot an eight-under par (272) for the four-round tournament, winning by two strokes over Cory Whitsett of Alabama. A month later, Ihm earned a sponsor's exemption to the John Deere Classic, making his first career PGA TOUR appearance. The senior birdied his first hole of the tournament, and is believed to be the first UI golfer to earn a sponsor's exemption to the Silvis, Ill. tournament.
THREE HAWKEYES TO WATCH
Senior Steven Ihm and juniors Brian Bullington and Joseph Winslow were named to the 2013-14 Big Ten Men's Golfers to Watch List. Ihm, currently 46th in the Men's World Amateur Golf rankings, had the lowest scoring average (71.4) for the Hawkeyes during the spring season, playing nine rounds at or below par. The Peosta, Iowa, native played in his first PGA TOUR event over the summer after earning a sponsor's exemption to the John Deere Classic. Bullington, a native of Frankfort, Ill., finished the 2013 regular season with three-straight top-24 finishes, compiling a 73.92 spring stroke average. Winslow was a second team All- Big Ten selection, a PING All-Midwest Region honoree, and was named to the All-Big Ten Championship Team in 2013 as a sophomore. His 73.48 stroke average ranked 10th best in program history.
DEFENDING THE HARDWARE
Iowa captured two tournament titles in 2013, and will return to both venues to defend their championships this season. The Hawkeyes won the Big Four Championships in Chandler, Ariz., last February, with five players going 2-0 in match play. Iowa beat Drake, 6-0, in the first round and defeated Iowa State, 5-1, in the final round to take the title. Iowa's second title came at the Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Ind., tying for first-place out of 18 teams. Senior Steven Ihm earned comedalist honors just one week after medaling at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
The Hawkeyes had the 37th ranked strength of schedule in the nation in 2013, according to Golfweek. com. This year's schedule is nearly identical to the 2013 slate, with the only changes coming in the addition of the Windon Memorial Classic (hosted by Northwestern) in Lake Forest, Ill., and the ASU Thunderbird Classic (hosted by Arizona State) in Tempe, Ariz.
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE
Iowa has won eleven tournaments since 2008, had twelve individual medalists since 2009 and has had three All-Americans since 2008. Last season, senior Steven Ihm and junior Joseph Winslow became the 11th and 12th Iowa players to be named to the all regional team since 2009.
HEAD COACH Mark Hankins
Head coach Mark Hankins is in his seventh season as head coach. He has guided the Hawkeyes to five straight NCAA Regional appearances, and to the NCAA Championships three times in the past five years. Iowa was ranked 155th when Hankins took over the program in 2008, yet the Hawkeyes have been consistently ranked within the top-60 for the past three years. Hankins is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.