Iowa men’s golf’s Schaake impresses at Golf Club of Georgia Amateur Invitational

Three under-par rounds led to a top-15 finish for the redshirt senior.


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.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

This fall, Alex Schaake has played well enough to finish in the top 15 in every tournament he’s competed in since the school year began.

The Iowa men’s golfer has finished in a tie for fifth at the Windsong Invite, third at the Zach Johnson Invitational, tied for fourth at the Trinity Forest Amateur, lost in a playoff to teammate Benton Weinberg at the Harvest at Indian Creek, and most recently tied for 14th at the Golf Club of Georgia Amateur Invitational this past weekend.

In the last few months, Schaake has shown that he can compete on the biggest stages in collegiate golf, but he has not won an event since the summer.

“I’ve been so mad these past five tournaments,” Schaake said. “I don’t really try to show it but, man, it’s frustrating. I had the lead at some point in a lot of the tournaments, that’s just frustrating. But I know I’m so close and I know it’s not that I don’t know how to win because I’ve won a lot in my career.”

Schaake credits the quality of his competitors and their ability to play multiple good rounds in a row. He also noted that his mindset may need to change as he plays in better fields.

“I just think I’m getting to these bigger and better tournaments that, if you do shoot one really good round, you still gotta shoot another good round or another two good rounds just to compete,” Schaake said. “I mean, 20-under won this week and I did not see 20-under winning. The thing that I need to focus on is not putting a number in my head but just going out there and making birdies. Saving par, saving shots where I can get them because these guys I’m playing against now are, four or five of them, are going to be on the PGA Tour within the next two years and I hopefully want to be one of those guys.”

In Atlanta last weekend, as part of what he called the best field he’s competed in this fall, Schaake fired an opening-round 7-under-par 65 with five birdies, an eagle and no bogeys. He finished up with 70 and 71 to finish at 10-under, a full 10 shots behind the winner Alex Fitzpatrick.

RELATED: Iowa golf’s Weinberg outlasts teammate Schaake in playoff

“I played well,” Schaake said. “I was playing the practice round and I knew that there was a ton of birdies out there. I played with a kid who shot 63 in the practice round. I just went out there with the mentality that I was going to have to make putts. That first round, I hit the ball better than I think I have ever in my life. I putted decent, I mean, when you say you putted decent and you still shot 7-under in the first round, that’s gotta be saying something. In the last two rounds I kind of stalled out a little bit, didn’t really make that many putts, I still hit it really good but it’s crazy. I shot 10-under and got 14th place. You can’t really say that about any other tournaments.”

Last weekend’s field also included the No. 9 ranked amateur in the world Andy Ogletree, who has played in multiple U.S. Opens. He finished in a tie for second at 15-under.

Alongside Schaake, fellow Hawkeye Gonzalo Leal Montero finished in a tie for 65th.

Schaake will tee it up again in the last week of November at the Maridoe Amateur Championship. Schaake said that tournament will have “100 percent the best field in college golf.”

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