Iowa men’s golf to host Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine this weekend

The Hawkeyes won the 2021 Hawkeye Invitational by five shots.

Iowas+Mac+McClear+drives+the+ball+during+the+mens+golf+Hawkeye+Invitational+on+Saturday%2C+April+17%2C+2021+at+Finkbine+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 will host the Hawkeye Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The action begins with two 18-hole rounds on Saturday with the third and final round to follow on Sunday.

Iowa will welcome Cincinnati, Creighton, Drake, Illinois State, Iowa State, James Madison, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, and Kansas City for the event.

The Hawkeyes used a home-course advantage to win the 2021 Hawkeye Invitational. Iowa posted a 24-under-par 840 on its way to victory. 

The now-graduated Hawkeye Alex Schaake won the Hawkeye Invitataional’s individual competition in 2021 with a 12-under-par 204. Current Iowa junior Mac McClear finished second behind Schaake a year ago with 10-under-par 206.

McClear, junior Ronan Kleu, senior Gonzalo Leal Montero, junior Garrett Tighe, and sophomore Callum Macfie are the Hawkeyes competing in this year’s Hawkeye Invitational.

Leal Montero finished in a tie for fourth individually at last year’s Hawkeye Invitational. He shot a 7-under-par 209.

Iowa head coach Tyler Stith said the Hawkeyes have been playing the course nearly every day in preparation for this weekend’s event.

“I think being able to sleep in your own bed and go through your normal daily routine is a big advantage,” Stith said. “The golf course also is somewhat unique. I think it’s one of those places that, the first couple times you see it, it seems hard, and then the more you play it, you know where you can miss off the tee, you know how to play certain hole locations. Of course, it becomes a lot easier. It’s friendly to the home team.”

Since the first Hawkeye Invitational in 2010, Iowa has won six team crowns and finished outside the top two just once.

This year, Finkbine will play differently than it did in 2021. Recent spats of cold, sleet, rain, and snow have changed the condition of the course.

“The conditions as of late that we’ve played in have been difficult,” Macfie said. “Cold, wet, windy, especially. So we’ve almost become weathered to come into this event. So, we know whatever conditions are thrown at us this weekend, we’ve played in it or dealt with some of it. So, it just gives us more confidence to go out there and knowing we know where to hit the ball in the right spots, and we played good, seen good shots on this golf course before.”

Macfie said that, while the spring hasn’t been kind to the Hawkeyes, the home team is approaching its final regular season event with a winner’s mindset.

“Obviously the goal is to win,” Macfie said. “That’s going to be first and foremost. Anything other than that will seem as a little bit of a disappointment, which is the right mindset to have. We can’t keep expecting bad results or bad play because you need a winner’s mindset in order to win.”

The Hawkeyes’ best finish of the spring season came at the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Georgia. Iowa finished sixth in the 15-team event at Forest Heights Country Club.

The Hawkeye Invitational’s first tee time is set for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and the action can be followed all weekend at golfstat.com.

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