Men’s golf set for home cooking


The Iowa golf team will close out its regular season with this weekend’s Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine.

Iowa will host 13 teams this weekend: Denver, DePaul, Idaho, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Alabama, South Dakota State, SMU, Missouri-Kansas City, and Wichita State.

Although there are no teams in the field ranked in the NCAA College Golf Rankings top 25, head coach Tyler Stith realizes the Hawkeyes will be tested on their home course.

“We have four or five tournament-caliber teams,” he said. “All are opponents that we faced throughout the year, and we know that we have to play well to win this weekend.”

All seven Hawkeyes on the roster will compete. Matthew Walker will top the lineup, followed by junior Raymond Knoll.

Senior Nate Yankovich, junior Carson Schaake, and sophomore Sam Meuret will round out the lineup. Senior Voramate Aussarassakorn and freshman Aaron DeNucci will compete as individuals.

The Hawkeyes have lofty goals for this weekend.

“I’d like to see five guys in contention come Sunday,” Stith said. “I know if we have five guys going for an individual title that the team is going to be in a position to win on Sunday.”

Five players in contention and a victory this weekend should bode well for another strong finish at theApril 22-24 Big Ten Championships. And Stith would like to see continued play carried over from the April 2-3 Thunderbird Invitational, in which the Hawkeyes finished fifth, their best finish of the spring season.

“I think playing well here does give us a good final preparation for the Big Ten Championships,” Stith said. “I’m really excited with how we’re playing. We had some really good performances out in Arizona, and I believe this weekend we’re going to put it all together.”

Last season, the Hawkeyes finished third in the Hawkeye Invitational, and they backed that up with a second-place finish at the 2015 Big Ten Championships. Knowing those results, the Hawkeyes understand positive momentum is important, and they hope to see similar results this season.

“[Momentum] is definitely important especially with the postseason coming up and the Big Tens next week,” Knoll said. “Gaining momentum on our home golf course will be key for the rest of the year.

Playing on their home course in tournament play for the first time this season is certainly an advantage the Hawkeyes hope to capitalize on this weekend.

“This is a course we are familiar with so expect a lot of birdie opportunities for everyone on the team.” Walker said. “Hopefully, we can make most of them and play solid, and be in contention during Sunday’s final round.”

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

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