September 2013

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Summer Success has Ihm, Hawkeyes Poised By Patrick Sojka F or University of Iowa senior Steven Ihm, his 2013 At the John Deere Classic, Ihm had an opportunity to summer was one that most college golfers could play a practice round with Iowa native, Hawkeye fan, only dream of. and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson. Johnson noted Ihm's resume and reminisced about similarities Following the spring season, in which he was one of six from his first PGA experience. golfers named first-team All-Big Ten Conference and earned PING All-Midwest Region accolades, the Peosta, "The similarity was we had sponsor's exemptions, so Iowa, native embarked on a special summer. that would probably be it," said Johnson. "My resume as an amateur paled in comparison to what his is already. In mid-May, Ihm earned a sponsor's exemption for the That's where the similarities stop. He's already won a PGA TOUR's John Deere Classic, and he is believed to massive amateur event in Pennsylvania. He was exempt be the first University of Iowa player to receive a spon- for (the John Deere Classic) and he's not even a senior sor's exemption as a collegian in the 43-year history of in college yet. He is a great kid with a great demeanor. the Quad Cities' PGA TOUR event. It seems like he's a bit mature beyond his young years." "This summer has been a lot of fun," said Ihm. "Getting the opportunity to play in world class events is how you build your game. This summer I played with some of the best in the world and I am always learning new things and building my game." Johnson noticed a confidence in Ihm, and pointed to the success of the Iowa men's golf program. "Steven looks hungry, and it's good to see," said Johnson. "He's got a good team. He's got a great coach — coach (Mark) Hankins is doing a great job there. They're doing In mid-June, he won the 60th annual Sunnehanna Am- good things at Iowa." ateur in Johnstown, Pa., carding a final-round 67 (-3). Ihm played the four-round tournament at eight-under "Steven has used his collegiate success this past year to par (272) to win the prestigious event — joining Rickie gain invitation into the top nationally competitive amaFowler, Webb Simpson, Lucas Glover, Scott Verplank teur tournaments this summer," Hankins said. "With his and Ben Crenshaw as Sunnehanna Amateur champions. win at the Sunnehanna, exemption into the John Deere Classic, and solid finishes at the Southern Am and WestIn mid-July, while the tour professionals in the John ern Am, he has developed into one of the top amateur Deere Classic field sported sponsorship logos on their golfers in the country.    apparel at TPC Club Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., Ihm donned a Tigerhawk logo. "With the U.S. Amateur, too, he has the opportunity to continue momentum into his senior year and get him"It was awesome," said Ihm about representing his in- self into position to achieve the individual collegiate stitution at a PGA TOUR event. "It is great for the pro- goals that he has in place for this upcoming season." gram and I am happy I can do this. We have a good golf team. I like sporting Iowa gear; I am proud of it." Ihm and his teammates look to make their sixth-straight NCAA Regional appearance in 2014. He birdied his first-ever PGA TOUR hole and posted a 36-hole score of 140 (71, 69, -2), missing the cut by two strokes. 33

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