Bad weather plays role in Hawkeyes’ first tournament

Iowa men’s golf faced off against the elements in its opening tournament of the season.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Ben A

Iowa sophomore Alex Schaake poses for a portrait at Hoak Family Golf Complex on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Cassandra Buchholz, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s golf team struggled early on at the Gopher Invitational but salvaged the event with an impressive third-round performance. The Hawkeyes carded a team-best final-round score of 289 (+5) at Windsong Farm Golf Club on Monday.

The men’s team is coming off an impressive third place performance at the Gopher Invitational last season, but only tied for 12th place this weekend. Nationally ranked Baylor and Texas A&M finished first and second at the tournament.

Iowa’s third-round 18-hole total was the sixth best-third round score in the tournament, however, putting a bright spot on what was a cloudy tournament.

The Hawkeyes showed improvement and experience through the weekend, despite the weather conditions. Iowa had to golf through the elements throughout the tournament.

“Today was an improvement in many respects,” Iowa Head Coach Tyler Smith said. “We bounced back [from weather], handled the tough weather conditions fairly well, and showed a glimpse of our potential.”

Four of Iowa’s five golfers posted their best 18-hole rounds of the tournament on Monday after up-and-down performances to begin the weekend.

Individually, senior Alex Schaake earned his 10th top-10 finish of his college career and finished even-par while being only one of nine players at the tournament to sink an eagle. 

The eagle came on the par-five 12th hole, and he would continue his rampage on the course with a birdie on the very next hole.

In the final round, Schaake posted a score of 69, climbing 20 spots on the leaderboard to tie for eighth place overall.

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Senior Benton Weinberg finished tied for 62nd, shooting a 227 (+14), while posting back-to-back birdies over the first four holes the first round and capping off even-par in his final round.

Weinberg had his best round of the tournament on Monday, posting a score of 71 in the third round. He had put up scores of 75 and 81 in the first two rounds in Minnesota.

Junior Joe Kim and sophomore Gonzalo Leal Montero both posted the same score for the weekend, finishing off 222 (+9) to tie for 44th overall.

In his first collegiate tournament, freshman Garrett Tighe posted back-to-back birdies in the first round, while finishing in 70th place with a score of 239 (+26).

Tighe was another Hawkeye who played his best round on Monday. After putting up a score of 83 in each of the first two rounds, Tighe came to play on Monday and shot 73.

The Hawkeyes head home to host the 11th annual Golfweek Conference Challenge at the Cedar Rapids Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Smith saw this past weekend as a lesson but is looking forward to this upcoming tournament back home.

“This tournament [Gopher Invite] was a setback,” Smith said. “But we must look at the big picture. All of our pre-season goals are still attainable. We can get back on track this week in Cedar Rapids.”

Iowa will host the Golfweek Conference Challenge Sept. 15-17, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the Cedar Rapids Country Club.