Iowa men’s golf team set for fall season after summer tournaments

Many Hawkeye players competed in local, state, and national tournaments during the college offseason.


Katie Goodale

Iowa’s Mac McClear looks to the hole during the third round of the Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine Golf Course on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s golf team is set to begin its fall schedule at the Fighting Irish Classic on Sept. 4-5, but many of the Hawkeye players will enter the fall in midseason form.

Multiple upperclassmen returned to campus following busy summer slates.

Iowa head coach Tyler Stith told The Daily Iowan playing competitive tournaments during the summer is a vital aspect of college golf, especially prior to the start of the fall season.

“They’re competing year-round, and you have to compete to stay sharp, and going with your buddies is a lot different than playing tournaments,” Stith said. “So, it’s really important that they come to school ready to play because we just have such a short amount of time from the first day of school and the first day of practice until our first tournament.”

Senior Mac McClear — Iowa’s stroke average leader during the 2022 spring season — had the most prolific offseason of the bunch, as he won the 91st Illinois State Amateur Championship in July and then qualified for the 122nd U.S. Amateur in August.

Although McClear didn’t make the cut to the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur, he said playing against the nation’s best players this summer will help him this season.

RELATED: Iowa men’s golfer Mac McClear wins Illinois State Amateur

“That was a great experience,” Mac McClear said. “I didn’t play very well, but you know, it’s one of the best amateur tournaments in the country. So, anytime you get to play against the best guys in the world basically, it’s a good experience and a good preparation for the fall.”

Fellow senior Ronan Kleu built off a successful spring campaign — where he compiled a 73.1 stroke average.

The former Columbus State transfer from Switzerland played in six summer events in his native Europe and finished fifth at the Internationaux de France from May 27-29.

However, Kleu’s summer was cut short by an undisclosed injury, which will keep him out of the Hawkeyes’ season-opening tournament.

Senior Garrett Tighe competed in a number of summer events, mostly playing his competitive golf in Iowa.

After spending a few weeks at home in Texas, Tighe played in the Iowa Match Play, Iowa Amateur Championship, Iowa Open, and Herman Sani Open.

Tighe counted top-25 finishes in three of those four tournaments and said he’s been working hard on his shots on and around the greens.

“A lot of short game, we’ve been focusing on wedges and putting,” Tighe said. “I realized through my stats that, it’s what I needed to do well to be able to play my best.”

Hawkeye sophomore Ian Meyer joined Tighe in the Herman Sani field.

Meyer did not appear in any tournaments during the spring season for Iowa but posted a 75.2 stroke average through 24 rounds in the fall of 2021.

Along with the Herman Sani event, the Deephaven, Minnesota, product, played multiple events in his home state over the summer, including a third-place finish at the Minnesota Amateur Championship.

“It was a good tournament, hosted over at Olympic Hills, and it was a good time,” Meyer said of the Minnesota State Amatuer. “I had one of my good buddies on the bag that week so that was really fun. I felt like it was a good week and some good momentum, and I’m ready to get the season started.”