Iowa men’s golfer Garrett Tighe comes up one shot short of Hawkeye Invitational title

Tighe and his team finished in second place at the annual event at Finkbine Golf Course.

Iowa+golfer+Garret+Tighe+poses+with+the+Hawkeye+Invitational%E2%80%99s+runner-up+trophy+during+day+two+of+the+event+at+Finkbine+Golf+Course+on+April+17%2C+2022.+Tighe+finished+in+2nd+place+with+a+score+of+209.

Braden Ernst

Iowa golfer Garret Tighe poses with the Hawkeye Invitational’s runner-up trophy during day two of the event at Finkbine Golf Course on April 17, 2022. Tighe finished in 2nd place with a score of 209.

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor


Garrett Tighe came up just one shot short of his first collegiate victory Sunday afternoon at Finkbine Golf Course. The junior Iowa men’s golfer from Algonquin, Illinois, placed second in the 2022 Hawkeye Invitational with a score of 7-under-par.

Kansas’ Harry Hillier, who is ranked 98th in golfstat.com’s list of the top 100 individual NCAA Division I Men’s Golfers, won the tournament with an 8-under-par 208.

Tighe was poised to match Hillier’s 8-under-par total on Finkbine’s 18th hole. A few critical mistakes, however, kept Tighe from taking the first-place hardware home.

“On 18, I hit my drive right,” Tighe told The Daily Iowan. “So, I was trying to get anything on the green. Of course, [my approach] goes long and on the back fringe. It was just a little unlucky.”

Once Tighe hit his second shot onto the 18th green’s fringe, he tried to putt his way to victory. Tighe was 8-under-par on the tournament when he struck his birdie attempt from the fringe.

Tighe’s look at birdie went long. His par putt to tie Hillier appeared to be at least 10 feet in length. Tighe missed his par putt and then tapped in for bogey.

“It was straight down the hill,” Tighe said of his birdie attempt from the 18th fringe. “I had to play it like six feet out from the hole. It was tough.”

Tighe entered Sunday’s competition in a tie for first place at 6-under-par. Despite the missed opportunity, Tighe was pleased with the way he performed.

“I’m super happy with how I finished,” Tighe said. “I got a lot of confidence from this event.”

Second is the highest Tighe has placed at any collegiate event.

Iowa finishes second in team competition

Entering Sunday’s third and final round of the Hawkeye Invitational, Iowa trailed first-place Kansas by eight shots. By the time action concluded on Sunday, the Hawkeyes had closed that gap to just two shots.

The Jayhawks concluded the event at 12-under-par, while the Hawkeyes finished at 10-under-par.

“Playing at home, I think everybody realizes that, you know, it’s an opportunity to win,” Iowa head coach Tyler Stith said Sunday. “You want to defend your home golf course and put forth your best effort … Today, like I said, I think if we would’ve had another nine holes, we might’ve come out on top. It is what it is. I’m proud of [the team] for battling over the last few days.”

Whacky weather

The 2022 Hawkeye Invitational participants had to battle adverse weather conditions across two days of action.  Golfers fought unseasonably cold temperatures and high wind speeds on both Friday and Saturday.

Temperatures did not exceed 50 degrees on either day. On both Saturday and Sunday morning, most thermometers indicated temperatures below 40 degrees.

Weatherspark.com’s data suggests that temperatures usually reach about 64 degrees during April in Iowa.

“Conditions were super brutal, really windy, cold,” Tighe said. “Kinda just had to hit the fairway, hit the green, two-putt, and hopefully get some birdies down the stretch. Honestly, it was just mentally staying in it, not getting out of it because you could easily get out of it with the wind and how cold it was and get distracted. So, I was just trying to stay in it the whole time.”

Big picture

The Hawkeye Invitational is Iowa’s last event of the 2021-22 regular season. Their second-place finish was their best of the year.

Iowa’s third-place outing at the Big Ten Match Play on Feb. 5 in Florida was its second-best of the regular season.

Up next

Iowa will travel to the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Indiana, to compete in the 2022 Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships. The tournament will run April 29-May 1.

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