Iowa golf’s Weinberg outlasts teammate Schaake in playoff

The Harvest tournament in Elkhorn, Nebraska, came down to a playoff between Hawkeyes Benton Weinberg and Alex Schaake. Weinberg beat the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Golfer of the Year to claim the title.


Hannah Kinson

Joe Kim watches the ball approach the flag during a golf invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Iowa came in first with a score of 593 against 12 other teams.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Like many other tournaments this fall, Iowa’s golfers performed well last weekend at The Harvest tournament in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

The eight Hawkeye players that made the road trip to the Cornhusker State were forced to compete as individuals unattached from the University of Iowa — something they’ve had to do all fall in order to comply with the Big Ten’s decision to postpone all fall sports, except football, to the spring.

Four of the eight finished in the top five of the individual competition as graduate transfer Charles Jahn and sophomore Mac McClear finished in a tie for fourth, posting three-over-par totals for the three-day event.

Senior Benton Weinberg and 2019 Big Ten Men’s Golfer of the Year Alex Schaake both had a chance to win the tournament down the stretch.

Weinberg bogeyed the final regulation hole of the tournament, surrendering his one stroke lead to Schaake. The pair was then vaulted into a playoff that Weinberg would win after a par on the first sudden-death hole.

“It was cool to play together,” Weinberg said. “We play together pretty much every day. So, it kind of calmed me down a little bit because I felt more comfortable with him than just random guys. It lessened what the situation felt like.”

Weinberg relied on his putting and positive mental approach throughout the three rounds of competition.

“I was putting really well, so that kind of freed up the rest of my game,” he said. “I knew if I hit it anywhere on the green, I’d have a chance to make it. Also, I feel like I was pretty good mentally. I focused on the shot I was on, didn’t really let my mind wander onto like results or score. I was pretty focused and in the present.”

The tournament took place at The Club at Indian Hills — roughly 15 minutes away from Schaake’s family home. Graciously, the Schaakes hosted all the Iowa golfers competing in the tournament. Another player, Garrett Tighe, hosted the team in Dallas last week.

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“It was fun,” Schaake said. “We had some good times at night, we played some games kind of took our minds off of golf. Indian Creek is like my second home course and for them to get out and play it and experience that was really cool.”

Schaake qualified for and played in a Korn Ferry Tour event at Indian Creek this summer and he showed the other Hawkeyes the ins and outs of the course before last weekend’s tournament.

“Before we went to Dallas, I took a couple of the guys out there and we played nine of the holes on the tournament course, so they got a little experience with that,” he said. “Then, the day before the first round, some of us went out and played as well. I tried to play with some of the guys that hadn’t played it before, give them some tips on when to hit drivers, or lay back on some holes. I gave them some good experience out there from what I saw in the past.”

The reigning golfer of the year was happy with the performance from the rest of the team.

“It showed this week,” Schaake said.  “I mean, we had four of the guys in the top-five, and five in the top-ten. We’re all playing extremely well right now and you can see that from the last few tournaments that we’ve all finished at the top.”