Golf’s fresh international faces

Jake Rowe and Jaewook Lee are ready to bring their golfing talents over to the United States.

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Golf’s fresh international faces

Iowa golfer Jack Rowe practices chiping during a men's golf practice on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. The men's team will travel to Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 10. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa golfer Jack Rowe practices chiping during a men's golf practice on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. The men's team will travel to Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 10. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa golfer Jack Rowe practices chiping during a men's golf practice on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. The men's team will travel to Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 10. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa golfer Jack Rowe practices chiping during a men's golf practice on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. The men's team will travel to Minnesota for the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 10. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Sean Bock, [email protected]

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Being a freshman on a college campus is no easy task. Juggling schoolwork, socializing, and other extracurricular activities make the freshman-year adjustment difficult but worth it in the long run.

Two freshman Hawkeye golfers, Jake Rowe and Jaewook Lee, are both getting their first taste of living in the United States and Iowa.

Rowe comes from Portadown, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, and has been satisfied with his first couple weeks on campus.

“The adjustment to Iowa hasn’t been too bad so far,” Rowe said. “The first few weeks were [about] getting adjusted, getting my way around places, getting to know the buses around campus, and getting a ride to practice every day. It’s been good so far.”

Along with golf, Rowe also played hockey. He believes his leadership traits he learned from the ice will translate to the links.

“I was a captain, so I’m hoping I can impact the team in that way and maybe [be] a leader on the course and [shoot] good scores,” he said.

As for Lee, a native of British Columbia, Canada, the road to get to Iowa was a little bumpy. He experienced visa issues before the first week of classes.

“I got a little delayed with the transcripts from the high school,” he said. “Then I got my visa interview delayed as well. But they were able to get the visa the day after, so I was able to get here the week school started.”

Although they’re young and inexperienced, head coach Tyler Stith believes both can play a role for the Hawkeyes this year.

“Both guys are very competitive,” he said. “Both have a lot of talent. But like any freshmen, there’s a transition period, and it’s harder for other people than some. I have high expectations for both of them, and they’re both competitive individuals who want to compete right away. I anticipate both of them contributing at some point this year. They both have really good work ethics and high character, so there are ways they can help the team without playing, and they’ve already done that.”

Golf is popular around the world, so finding connections on the international side is important, Stith said.

“Golf is such a global game now,” he said. “International players have been making a huge impact on the college-golf landscape for the last 10 to 20 years, especially in the last few years. So we’ve searched outside the U.S. to find the best players and best student-athletes from around the planet to come to Iowa and represent our program.”

Fans won’t have to wait much longer to find out how the freshmen, as well as the rest of the Hawkeye golf team, will fare this season.

The men’s golf season will start Sept. 10 in Independence, Minnesota, at the Gopher Invitational.