The University of Iowa men’s golf team hosts the annual Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Friday and Saturday. This will mark the 25th year of the tournament.
Round 1: Friday, April 13 -- 1:30 p.m. (CT) shotgun start
Round 2: Saturday, April 14 -- 9 a.m. (CT) shogtun start
Round 3: Saturday, April 14 -- immediately after round 2
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can follow this weekend’s action by visiting golfstat.com for live scoring. Links can be found on the men’s golf schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
Iowa is joined by 12 teams from around the Midwest: Arkansas State, Drake, DePaul, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Marquette, Minnesota, Michigan State, Nebraska, South Dakota State, and UMKC.
The 54-hole tournament will be played at Finkbine Golf Course, home to Iowa’s men’s and women’s golf teams. At a par of 72, the course stretches over 7,200 yards with a USGA course rating of 74.6 and a slope rating of 134. Full of Iowa terrain, Finkbine has hosted numerous NCAA tournaments, the Amana VIP Classic, 1991 Hogan Tour, 2013 Iowa Match Play, 2014 Iowa State Men’s Amateur, 2016 Iowa Women’s Amateur, and a 2017 US Men’s Amateur qualifier.
The Hawkeyes are currently competing for the starting five.
The Hawkeyes have won 14 Hawkeye Invitational titles and 13 individual titles in the tournament’s history. Iowa has won the tournament four times in the last eights years, with its most recent team and individual title in 2014 with a team total of 853 and Steve Ihm’s 54-hole score of 209 (-7). Ihm was a repeat champion after tying for medalist honors in 2013. Texas Tech won last year’s event, while Iowa State’s Nick Voke claimed medalist honors.
LAST TIME OUT
Iowa finished in 13th place in the Duck Invitational in Eugene, Oregon, that featured four ranked teams. The Hawkeyes were tied for seventh place after the first round and charged up the leaderboard early in round two, but finished the tournament with a 54-hole total of 896 (+44). Alex Schaake tied for 31st at nine-over-par, while Benton Weinberg carded two 74’s to tie for 43rd at 12-over-par.
LEADER IN THE CLUBHOUSE
Sophomore Alex Schaake has been Iowa’s top finisher in all three of Iowa’s stroke-play events in the spring. Schaake went 2-2 at Big Ten Match Play to start the spring, followed by a third-place finish at the 36-hole Southern Intercollegiate. He tied for 12th at the Schenkel Invitational after carding a season low 18-hole score of 67 in the second round with seven birdies. Schaake has been Iowa’s most consistent player this season, leading the team in 18-hole scoring average (71.70), top-10 finishes (3), and rounds at or below par (9).
SCHAAKE’S THREE TOP-FIVE FINISHES
Adding to his two top-five finishes in the fall, Alex Schaake finished third in the Southern Intercollegiate. The sophomore fired back-to-back even par or better rounds to finish the tournament two-under-par and one stroke off the lead. His first top-five finish of the season came in a runner-up performance at the Golfweek Conference Challenge at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Next, at the Windon Memorial Classic, he posted three consecutive rounds at or below par at the Evanston Golf Club to tie for fifth place.
WALKER THRIVES IN MATCH PLAY
In this year’s Big Ten Match Play Championships, junior Matthew Walker won three out of four individual matches to improve his career match play record to 10-2. He went 4-0 as a freshman, making him one of only six golfers to do so for the tournament. In back-to-back years, Walker finished 3-1 to have only two career losses on his career resume.
CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARD
- Six Hawkeyes -- Ryoto Furuya, Sam Meuret, Alex Moorman, Alex Schaake, Matthew Walker, and Benton Weinberg -- have competed in at least 15 rounds.
- Schaake has nine rounds at or below par, followed by Walker’s eight rounds at or below. As a team, the Hawkeyes have carded 38 rounds at or below par.
- Schaake leads the team in 18-hole scoring average at 71.10. Walker is second on the team averaging 72.70 strokes-per-round, followed by Weinberg’s 18-hole average of 73.45. Iowa’s team average sits at 73.97.
- Schaake, Weinberg, and Moorman have carded 67s for Iowa’s low 18-hole score of the season.
- Five Hawkeyes have at least one top-20 finish, while Schaake alone has three top-five finishes.
WALKER IS A WORK HORSE
Junior Matthew Walker was the first true freshman to compete in every fall tournament for the Hawkeyes since Cole Peevler in 2015. In two and a half years as a Hawkeye, Walker has competed in every event dating back to his freshman year.
Iowa added two freshmen to its 2017-18 roster, Jaewook Lee (Langley, British Columbia) and Jake Rowe (Portadown, Northern Ireland). The freshmen competed in their first collegiate tournaments as individuals in the Zach Johnson Invitational, Oct. 2-3.
9 STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCES
Iowa has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last nine seasons, joining Illinois as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last nine seasons. Iowa has advanced to the NCAA Championship finals three times in the last eight years (2009, 2011, 2012).
LINK UP WITH THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa men’s golf program and to access exclusive coverage, “like” Hawkeye men’s golf on Facebook and follow @IowaHawkeyeGolf on Twitter and Instagram.
Iowa’s last tournament of the regular season is the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate in Columbus, Ohio, on April 21-22. The Hawkeyes finished third in last year’s event.