The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Ihm tees off in NCAA regional

“The Daily Iowan”
“Iowa golfer Amy Ihm drives the ball at the Diane Thomason Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 4-5, 2014. The Illinois Fighting Illini took first in the tournament, beating Iowa by 14 strokes. (The Daily Iowan/Valerie Burke)”

NCAA regional competition begins today for Hawkeye women’s golf, and Iowa’s Amy Ihm will take the course at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas.

While the Hawkeye women’s golf team was not fortunate enough to qualify for the competition, Ihm qualified for the tournament thanks to her standout performance in the Big Ten Championships where she posted a career-low three-round total of 211 (5-under). It broke the Iowa women’s record of 212 for a 54-hole performance.

“It’s obviously disappointing not making it as a team, but I’m fortunate enough to get there as an individual,” Ihm said in a release. “I’m excited about the opportunity.”

Ihm is not the only one fired up. Iowa head coach Megan Menzel sees her accomplishment as much more than a personal accolade.

“I am so excited,” Menzel said in a release. “It has been an exciting end to the season, and Amy has put together an awesome senior campaign. It not only means a lot to her but to our program. She is playing great golf right now, and she needs to go to Texas knowing she can make it to the next step.”

Ihm has enjoyed the best season of her college career; she is currently averaging a 72.8 stroke average while leading the Hawkeyes with seven top-10 tournament finishes this season.

While Ihm has a lot of momentum heading into regional competition, she has her work cut out for her.

The senior will compete against top-25 programs such as Texas A&M, Kent State, Arizona, Georgia, and top-ranked UCLA.

UCLA is coming off a disappointing Pac-12 Championship in which the Bruins settled for the silver medal, losing to rival USC.

While the Bruins were not able to overcome the Trojans for the conference title, a late-round comeback had them just 3 strokes away from tying the tournament. So UCLA head coach Carrie Forsyth optimistic about what is ahead.

“Everybody stayed patient,” she said in a release. “At the end of the round, we just caught on fire and had a bunch of birdies at the end, and that was the difference. I feel like there’s a lot of great golf happening on our team right now, and we are only going to progress going forward.”

While UCLA and the other ranked programs are known for being golf powerhouses, the Hawkeyes would now like to start something new; Ihm’s appearance in the NCAA regional is just the second postseason appearance in the program’s history.

Competition will be stiff, but Ihm will try to have the best performance of her career in order to stand out among the nation’s best.

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