Mac McClear leads Iowa men’s golf to seventh-place finish at Wake Forest Invitational

The Hawkeye junior tallied his second straight individual top-10 finish with a seventh-place showing at Pinehurst No. 2 Golf Course.


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 finished seventh of 12 teams at the Wake Forest Invitational earlier this week at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

The Hawkeyes fired a team score of 53-over-par 893 and finished five strokes out of a tie for fifth between No. 31 N.C. State and No. 32 East Tennessee State. No. 24 Clemson won the event with an 18-over-par three-round total of 858. 

Iowa was led once again by junior Mac McClear, who finished in a tie for seventh individually.

After a tie for ninth at the Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 14-15, McClear compiled rounds of 75, 70, and 71, for a 6-over-par total of 216 at the Wake Forest Invitational.

The 2021 unanimous All-Big-Ten first team selection made seven birdies, 13 bogies. A bogey was his worst score on any hole.

Head coach Tyler Stith was impressed by McClear’s ability to keep big numbers off his scorecard.

“Mac [McClear] followed up yesterday’s rounds with another strong performance,” Stith said in a release following the final round.  “His ball striking wasn’t completely on, but he found a way to post a score with his short game and course management. That’s what good players do.”

McClear was 3-under-par on par-five holes for the event and 6-over-par on par-fours — good for ties for third and seventh in the field, respectively.

In his last six competitive rounds, the Hawkeyes’ No. 1 player has racked up 27 birdies. 

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

Big Picture

The Wake Forest Invitational marked the second stroke-play event of the spring season and the second straight tournament Iowa has played on a PGA Tour course. 

Stith believes this week’s track — Pinehurst No. 2 — gave his team great feedback and knowledge of what they need to improve on. 

“The guys received a great learning experience this week playing a major championship venue,” Stith said in a release. “The tough setup exposed our driving accuracy. We were playing out of position far too often.”

The other four players in Iowa’s lineup excluding McClear — freshman Ian Meyer, juniors Ronan Kleu and Garrett Tighe and senior Gonzalo Leal Montero — shot a combined 70-over-par. 

Up next

The Hawkeyes travel to Statesboro, Georgia, for the Schenkel Invitational March 18-20 at Forest Heights Country Club.

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