Iowa men’s golf set for road trip to Minnesota for Gopher Invitational

The three-round tournament will be contested on Sunday and Monday at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minnesota.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa’s Mac McClear drives the ball during the men’s golf Hawkeye Invitational on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Finkbine Golf Course.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

Throughout his youth, Ian Meyer spent long afternoons working on his game on the range and on the course at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minnesota. 

Now, the Hawkeye freshman will welcome the rest of his Iowa teammates to his home course as it will be the site of this week’s University of Minnesota-hosted Gopher Invitational.

Hailing from Deephaven, Minnesota, Meyer said that his familiarity with the course will serve him well on Sunday and Monday. The three-time high school all-conference selection said his experience playing the course in the past will help him in picking out lines for his tee shots as well as reading the greens.

Meyer officially donned the Black and Gold for the first time in his career last week at the Marquette Invitational at Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes finished ninth in the 17-team event, and Meyer placed 59th as an individual.

Although Erin Hills hosted the 2017 U.S. Open, Meyer believes Windsong may provide the Hawkeyes with a tougher test.

“I think [Windsong] might play a little harder,” Meyer said. “It’s a very similar set up where it’s pretty wide open. The fescue is a little bit thicker, so [the fairways] might be a touch tighter. But overall, the courses are both wide, wide fairways, big greens. But I do think the scores at Windsong are going to be a little higher than at Erin Hills.”

Like Meyer, Hawkeye head coach Tyler Stith is excited to take his team to Windsong. Before he was named head coach at Iowa, he served as an assistant on Minnesota’s staff from 2011-14. So, Stith is pretty familiar with Windsong.

“It’s always helpful to go places where you’re comfortable,” Stith said. “A big part of this game is confidence and commitment. Playing a place a couple of times, it gives you confidence with your club selection off the tees, the lines you need to take, helps you with your green reading. So, having that experience there is a huge advantage.”

The Hawkeyes enter the 2021 Gopher Invitational with a little momentum, as they tallied 48 birdies and four eagles on their way to an 8-under-par team score at the Marquette Invitational.

Stith said the Hawkeyes can improve upon last week’s performance by making more disciplined decisions on the golf course.

“Our decision-making was not the best at times,” Stith said. “I think we made choices that led to some big numbers. Going to a place that you’re used to [like Widsong] definitely helps with your strategy and what you do when you get in trouble. Just being able to recover and maybe making a bogey and moving on instead of double or triple.”

The top four spots in the Hawkeyes’ lineup will be filled by senior Gonzalo Leal Montero,  juniors Mac McClear and Ronan Kleu, and Meyer. Senior Jake Rowe, junior Garrett Tighe, and sophomore Callum Macfie are all fighting for the fifth and final spot on Iowa’s traveling roster.

After the Gopher Invitational, Iowa will take a two-week break before heading to South Bend, Indiana, for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic. 

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