Men’s golf seeks consistency


Men’s golf hopes to improve in upcoming competitions.
By Connor Sindberg

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After a rocky start in the first three tournaments, the Hawkeye men’s golfers are confident that improvement will come in the final stretch of the season.

Results haven’t been spectacular so far. In the first three tournaments to open the season, the Hawkeyes had two eighth-place finishes and a 12th-place finish.

Even though the results haven’t been what the team has wanted, head coach Tyler Stith isn’t concerned about the team’s performance.

“I think up to this week the guys have improved every week,” he said. “Last week in Georgia, we were able to beat a few quality teams over individual rounds, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do it over 54 holes.”

One golfer who did perform well over 54 holes at the March 18-21 Schenkel Invitational was Raymond Knoll, who finished 37th (minus-2), posting rounds of 70, 73, and 71.

Just like his coach, he believes the team is in a good place. He also trusts results will be better in the tournaments coming up.

RELATED: Men’s golf finishes 12th at Schenkel Invitational

“Coming off of our tournament in Georgia, I feel like we’re in pretty good standing right now,” he said. “I know our ranking doesn’t say so, but I feel like all of us are feeling pretty good about our games, and I think in the next two tournaments that will show.”

Joining Knoll as one of the leaders on the team is Nate Yankovich.

The senior has had a decent start to the season. He had an outstanding eighth-place finish at the Southwestern Jones Invitational on March 1, but couldn’t keep the momentum going at Schenkel, finishing 47th.

“I had a good first round at Schenkel but just kind of fell off a little bit,” Yankovich said. Overall, I’m hitting the ball great. I’m pretty happy, but there’s still some work to be done.”

On the golf course, Yankovich’s problems haven’t been striking the ball. The problems have come around the greens. In order to post more consistent scores, he will need to improve his chipping and putting.

“I’ve had some short-game issues,” he said. “I need refining on my short game, and I need to continue to work in those areas. That will be key for me.”

Consistent play has been a difficult challenge for Yankovich and the rest of the Hawkeyes, partly because of the lack of practice time on the golf course. But now with Finkbine recently reopening for play, the team will have much more opportunity for tournament preparation.

“We just have to play more,” Stith said. “I think that our consistency comes from preparing well. And now the golf course is open, and we are able to practice and play as much as we need to now, and so I think we are prepared to have a big finish to the season.

With more practice under their belts, the Hawkeyes will get another opportunity for improved results this weekend at the ASU Thunderbird in Tempe, Arizona.


Follow @csindberg32 on Twitter for Iowa men’s golf news, updates, and analysis.

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