By Jordan Zuniga
The Iowa men’s golf team will travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to compete in the NCAA regional May 15-17.
The three-day, 54-hole evet will be hosted by LSU and played at the University Club. The first 18 holes will kick off May 15 at 8 a.m. The tournament will continue May 16 at 8 a.m. and conclude on May 17 at 7:30 a.m. All rounds start from the first and 10th tees, and Iowa will be the No. 10 seed.
The Hawkeyes played at the University Club at the 2015 David Toms Intercollegiate on Oct. 11, 2015, taking fourth place amng 14 teams. Seniors Carson Schaake and Raymond Knoll and sophomore Matthew Walker all participated in that tournament.
“We are looking forward to going back to Baton Rouge,” said head coach Tyler Stith in a release. “We played there last year, so three of our guys have played there before. I think that will be a huge benefit for us.”
This is the ninth-straight regional appearance for the Hawkeyes. They will seek their 16th NCAA Championship appearance in program history and their first since 2012.
Last year, the Hawkeyes finished 10th at the Albuquerque Regional, with a three-round total of 925 (61-over). The top individual performer for Iowa last year was Schaake, who tied for 11th with a three-round score of 224 (8-over). He was just 3 strokes short of qualifying as an individual in the NCAA Championships.
The Hawkeyes hope to ride the momentum from their last time out at the Big Ten Tournament, in which they finished fourth among the 14-team field. Iowa got off to a rocky start but finished strong in the final round, posting a score of 276 (4-under). Freshman Jack Simpson was Iowa’s top finisher at the Big Ten Tournament, posting a three-round score of 214 (4-over) and finished tied for 16th individually.
“We just need to keep playing our game,” Walker said. “We’ve been playing well as of late and had a great final round of the Big Ten Tournament, so we just have to keep riding that momentum”
The 14-team field will consist of LSU, Oregon, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern, Arkansas, Jacksonville, Kentucky, South Florida, Iowa, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Loyola (Maryland), and Alabama State. Teams are listed in order of their respective seeding, Iowa currently ranked No. 56 in the nation.
“We have a great opportunity to do something special considering our knowledge of this course,” Knoll said. “Putting will be crucial, and keeping the ball in play off the tee will be emphasized. If we can control our ball around this place, I think we can give those other teams a run for their money. It’s going to be an awesome week, and I’m excited for our young guys to experience this event.”