IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Another summer event and another milestone for sophomore Alex Schaake. A junior on the men’s golf team, Schaake qualified for the Pinnacle Bank Championship.
The magic happened in a Monday qualifier when he fired a 66 (-6) at Bent Tree Golf Club, a course a mere 30 minutes from his hometown. He finished fourth to take one of the six final spots in his first Web.com Tour event. Being one of the first to tee off, Schaake anxiously waited for the scores to come in.
“Monday was fun for me,” Schaake said. I was one of the first tee times off so I knew I had to post a good number, then I had to wait five hours for everyone to finish. I ended up going home and was the most nervous I had ever been. I was doing anything to take my mind off how everyone else was doing so I didn’t psych myself out.”
The Omaha, Nebraska, native will only have to travel 10 minutes to make his Web.com tournament debut at Indian Creek Golf Course on Thursday. The familiar course, competitors, and his supreme confidence have eased any nerves.
“Playing in my hometown will be so fun and I can’t wait to feed of the crowds and the entire atmosphere,” Schaake said. “I thought was going to be more nervous to play in the Pinnacle, but I’m really not. I’m more proud and excited about this and the rest of my summer that I’m going to go out there and have fun. I couldn’t have asked for a better tournament to get into.”
Schaake’s opportunity to play with the pros is the latest of the many impressive performances he’s racked up during the summer. Earlier in July, Schaake won the sectional qualifying event for the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach by carding a two-round, 10-under-par total with no bogeys.
“My summer has been great and I’ve been playing some of my best golf,” Schaake said. “Being able to qualify for the Pinnacle and U.S. Amateur is way more than I could have asked for and I’m ready to make a run in both tournaments.”
Schaake’s other highlight of the summer came in June at the Nebraska Match Play Championship where he won the event to take home his eighth career Nebraska Golf Association title, which is tied for the second most all-time.
Iowa men’s golf head coach Tyler Stith applauded Schaake for his summer efforts and upcoming appearance at the Pinnacle Bank Championship.
“I am very happy for Alex,” Stith said. “It will be a great experience and he’s earned it. He’s had an impressive summer.”