April 2015

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141 "While at Iowa, I learned how to compete day-in- and-day-out, while also learning how to compete in a respectful way of my teammates and other people," said Hopfinger. "ere was a certain toughness and competitiveness that all of us play- ers brought out in each other, and that still helps me today." Despite his busy schedule, Hopfinger still keeps an eye on the Hawkeyes. "I keep in touch with (former) coach Mark Hankins and (current) coach Tyler Stith," said Hopfinger. "I played for coach Stith when he was an assistant at Iowa. I try to keep track of the golf team, and sometimes I'm a little out of the loop, but I try to keep track and see how they're doing and hopefully they're continuing on to play some good golf." Hopfinger was a key component in the Hawkeyes' turnaround. e program has advanced to NCAA competition in each of the last six seasons, joining Illinois and Northwestern as the only Big Ten teams selected to NCAA Regional competition in each of the last six years. Iowa has advanced to the NCAA Champi- onship finals three times in the last six years. "We are all proud that we got Iowa golf going again and it's up to everyone else to keep things going now," said Hopfinger. "We're proud and we all ended up being good friends. It is cool to look back and know that we got things started." F ormer University of Iowa men's golf stand- out Brad Hopfinger is an example of the rise of the UI men's golf program, illustrated by a tougher schedule, better facilities, tournament victories, NCAA postseason appearances, and in Hopfinger's case, more alumni in the professional ranks. e 2011 first-team All-Big Ten honoree and two- time Academic All-American has been competing at the professional level since graduating from Iowa in 2011, and most recently finished 11th at the Web.com Tour's Chile Classic. Hopfinger qualified for the Web.com Tour aer finishing in the top five of the PGA Tour Latino- america last fall, which he believes was some of the best golf he has ever played. "Last fall was probably some of the best golf I have played in my life," said Hopfinger. "I started to get help on my short game and things started to turn around from there. I've been playing well and I am looking forward to a new opportunity." Having endured success early in his young career, Hopfinger continues to set the bar high for him- self with his sights on joining the PGA Tour and becoming one of the top 125 golfers in the world. If there is one thing that will help him achieve this feat, it will be something he learned at the Univer- sity of Iowa. APRIL SCHEDULE April 3-4 at ASU Thunderbird Invitational April 18-19 Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational April 24-26 at Big Ten Championships

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