Iowa men’s golf set for Wake Forest Invitational in North Carolina

The Hawkeyes will travel to historic Pinehurst No. 2 Monday and Tuesday to compete against a number of ranked teams.


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

The Iowa men’s golf team will begin action at the Wake Forest Invitational this morning at one of the most famous golf courses on the planet: Pinehurst No. 2, in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

The historic track has hosted more single golf tournaments than any course in America, according to Seven major championships have been played on the course since 1989.

“There’s a ton of history there,” Iowa assistant coach Charlie Hoyle said of Pinehurst No. 2. “The course was redesigned a few years ago, kind of taken back to its original style and layout. Any time you get to play a major championship venue where greats of the game have played, it’s a real treat. The guys are really excited.”

Pinehurst No. 2 is the fourth PGA Tour-level course the Hawkeyes have played since the start of the 2021-22 season.

Erin Hills Golf Course hosted the 2016 U.S. Open, Warren Golf Course was the home of the 2019 U.S. Senior Open, and Grand Reserve Golf Club has been the site of multiple Puerto Rico Opens, including the 2022 edition of the PGA Tour event that concluded yesterday. 

“I think we do a great job with our schedule,” Hoyle said. “We play really good golf courses week-in-week-out. I think it’s good as well for us because we tend to play tough golf courses well. I’m hoping the weather looks good, but I’m hoping it’s playing tough.”

The Hawkeyes will be part of a 12-team field that features Iowa, Augustana, No. 24 Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, No. 32 East Tennessee State, Kentucky, No. 21 North Carolina State, San Francisco, No. 20 Wake Forest, a Wake Forest “B team,” and Yale. 

Wake Forest’s starting lineup holds two top-35 ranked golfers in No. 18 Michael Brennan and No. 33 Alex Fitzpatrick. Brennan has two victories this season, and Fitzpatrick won an event in the fall. 

North Carolina State and ETSU each have one top-50 player.

“I think it’s great,” Hoyle said of playing in talented fields. “I mean, you see where you stand, right? Just seeing those teams trying to beat those teams, you know, and ultimately beating those teams, I think it’s great for the guys playing with the caliber of players that those teams have. It makes our guys realize that we can kind of hang with [them]. We need to sharpen a few things up, but ultimately we can hang with those teams.”

Iowa’s lineup has not yet been set for the event, but three of the five spots will be filled by juniors Mac McClear and Ronan Kleu and senior Gonzalo Leal-Montero. 

McClear — the reigning Big Ten individual champion — has led the Hawkeyes this spring and enters the event fresh off a top-10 finish at the Purdue University-hosted Puerto Rico Classic.

This week’s action can be followed live on

Facebook Comments