March 2014

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43 T he University of Iowa men's golf team geared up in pursuit of its sixth-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance by kicking off practice on Jan. 27 inside the James M. Hoak Fam- ily Golf Complex. e Hawkeyes participated in five tournaments last fall, with every golfer on the roster playing in at least one event. e fall slate was loaded with tough competition, as Iowa faced 24 teams that are currently ranked in the top 50 of the Golfstat rank- ings. Head coach Mark Hankins said the golfers who performed well before the winter break will likely see more action early in the spring. "A lot of what you will see early on is based on the results from the fall," he said. "Depending on who plays well and who doesn't, we will do some quali- fying at the tournaments and along the way. It's a little different from the fall because it's not as dem- ocratic, but at the same time, we're going to find that group of five guys that have the confidence in each other to go out and win golf tournaments. We continue to be a very deep team, and that will ensure that pressure from the guys outside the starting five will remain strong and push us to be a great team this spring." Seniors Steven Ihm and Ryan Marks enter their final spring as collegiate golfers, hoping to build upon their impressive fall seasons. Ihm earned two top-10 finishes as he tied for eighth place at the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern, and tied for 10th at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate hosted by Baylor. "Right now, Steven is one of the top ranked ama- teurs in the world," said Hankins. "He had a nice fall and has continued to grow into a consistent performer while not changing what makes him good and the way he goes about his business." Marks' top finish of the fall came at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, where he tied for 13th. "Ryan came into this season and put up some re- ally good scores in the first three tournaments. He can build on that confidence and mindset as well as having experience on the upcoming golf courses this spring," said Hankins. "(Ihm and Marks) know they're going to be out of here next year, so this spring is a great opportunity for them to give 100 percent in all aspects of their game and prepa- ration so they can enjoy competing to be the best in the Big Ten and the NCAA. If they push each other to maintain a championship level of com- mitment, I'm certain they will achieve all of their goals this season." Junior Brian Bullington posted the lowest 18-hole score of his career in the fall, carding a three-un- der-par 68 at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate hosted by Baylor. Fellow junior Ian Vandersee earned the highest finish of any Hawkeye golfer thus far in the 2013- 14 campaign, tying for fourth place at the U.S. Collegiate Championship hosted by Georgia Tech with a four-under-par three-round score of 212. Sophomore Voramate Aussarassakorn made his first two career team event appearances in the fall, tying for 37th at the Golfweek Conference Chal- lenge and 61st at the Windon Memorial. Looking for 6 in a Row By Eric Clark

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