By Jordan Zuniga
Both the men’s and women’s golf teams have competitive rounds this weekend. The men will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to play in a tournament with a number of top teams, and the women will travel to the Big Ten Championship in Cincinnati.
The Iowa men’s golf team will finish its regular season in Columbus at the Robert Kepler Invitational.
The two-day, 54-hole event will take place on the Scarlet Course at the Ohio State University Golf Club. The course is a par-71 stretching 7,455 yards. The first 36 holes kick off with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. April 22. The last 18 holes will be played April 23 starting from the first and 10th holes with tee times varying from 7 a.m. to 9:06 a.m.
Five golfers will compete for each team, with the top four scoring. The Hawkeye five will be Carson Schaake, Matthew Walker, Raymond Knoll, Jack Simpson, and Alex Schaake. The Hawkeyes will hope to keep their momentum going after finishing second in the Hawkeye Invitational last weekend.
Carson Schaake will try to continue his play from this past weekend, when he placed fourth at the Hawkeye Invitational, shooting a three-round total of 211 (5-under). The other two top finishers were Knoll and Walker, who tied for 15th with scores of 73 (1-over).
The Hawkeyes must put up another good outing if they will want to do well in this very competitive field that includes No. 10 Illinois and No. 12 Kent State. The other schools competing will be Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers. The Hawkeyes are currently ranked No. 66.
The Kepler Invitational will be the last stop for the Hawkeyes before the Big Ten Tournament next weekend.
The Iowa women’s golf team will be in Cincinnati for the Big Ten Championships.
The tournament will start at 7:30 a.m. April 21 and continue April 22 (7:30 a.m.) and April 23 (7 a.m.), with all rounds beginning with a shotgun format. The rounds will be played at the TPC River’s Bend Golf Club — the course is a par-72 and stretches 6,226. The course was named “Top 10 Best New Private Clubs in the United States” by Golf Digest, and it has also been recognized as one of the best courses in Ohio since its 2001 opening.
The six-woman lineup for the Hawkeyes will be Jessica Ip, Sophie Liu, Jessie Sindlinger, Morgan Kukla, Shawn Rennegarbe, and Elisa Suarez. The Hawkeyes hope for a better finish than their last outing at the Hawkeye-El Tigre Invitational on April 4, in which they placed 10th of 14 with a three-round total of 910 (46-over).
Last year, the Hawkeyes placed ninth in the 14-team field with a three-round total of 876 (12-over). The best finish at the Big Ten Championships came in 1991, when the women won the tournament, posting a 74-hole total of 1,238.
The 14-team field includes No. 13 Northwestern and No. 24 Purdue.
After this weekend concludes, the Hawkeyes will wait to see if they have done enough to qualify for the NCAA regional competition. The selection show is April 27 beginning at 10 a.m. on the Golf Channel.