Recent success has Iowa men’s golfer Schaake looking toward Hawkeye Invitational

The Hawkeye senior will attempt to defend his title later this month at Finkbine Golf Course.


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. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

At the last playing of the Hawkeye Invitational two springs ago, Iowa men’s golfer Alex Schaake collected his first and only collegiate victory to date.

Schaake shared top individual honors with his teammate Matthew Walker, who graduated in 2019. At the conclusion of the three-round event, both Hawkeyes totaled 14-under-par scores of 199.

At Finkbine Golf Course, Iowa’s home facility, Schaake played all three rounds in the 60s and fired his two lowest collegiate rounds with a nine-under-par 63 in round one and a 64 on the final day.

He’s looking to recreate that momentum later this month when the Hawkeyes host the tournament again.

“The weather was perfect,” Schaake said of the most recent Hawkeye Invitational. “Hopefully, it stays perfect for us again. If it’s like that again, I mean, we should see some low scores. It was crazy and we were all playing well I think we were all feeding off each other. Looking at the leaderboards throughout the course knowing that there were some low scores to be shot. We were just taking every opportunity we got.”

The Hawkeyes also took home the team trophy in 2019, totaling a team mark of 43-under-par 809.

Individually, the senior from Omaha, Nebraska, is on a hot streak of his own heading into this year’s home tournament with a string of back-to-back top-five finishes including a tie for fifth place at the Calusa Cup in Naples, Florida, earlier this week.

Schaake began with an opening round of four-over-par 76 last Sunday at Calusa Pines Golf Course but then fought back to nab a tie for fifth place at the conclusion of the final round.

The 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year believes that if he can perform better in the first rounds of the remaining tournaments on the schedule, he could pick up more top finishes as his college career draws to a close, which would prove big for his professional aspirations.

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“Fighting my way back is something that I’ve honestly been most proud of this year for myself,” Schaake said. “I think if I can get off to a good start, then you know, those second and third rounds are kind of where I thrive and know that I have to play well in order to stay in a tournament. If I can just get off to a good start then I can finish it off like I have in these last few weeks, then I think I’m going to be right up there at the top of the leaderboard.”

Schaake’s high finish at the Calusa Cup, where many of the country’s top players were competing, has given him confidence for the start of what he hopes is a long professional career after college.

In Florida, Schaake finished ahead of two of the top-10 individuals in the country, according to GolfStat.

Following his impressive finish, Schaake sits at 24th in the PGA TOUR University Rankings.

At the conclusion of the spring college season, the top five finishers on that list will receive full status on the Korn Ferry Tour next season. The sixth through 15th-ranked golfers will get status on one of the PGA’s international tours, which would be the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica or the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada.