June 2017

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Page 142 of 152

143 T he University of Iowa men's golf team con- cluded another successful season that was highlighted by the program's ninth consecu- tive NCAA regional appearance. e Hawkeyes utilized five top-five team finishes in the spring to qualify for their ninth consecu- tive NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Iowa is one of two Big Ten teams to qualify for the postseason in nine consecutive years (the other is Illinois). e Hawkeyes tied for 10th in the 14- team field. Competing in his final collegiate event, senior Carson Schaake led Iowa, carding a 226 (+10; 75, 76, 75) to tie for 35th individually. e Omaha, Nebraska, native competed in every event for the Hawkeyes this season, notching two individual top-10 finishes and one top-20 finish. He was also named Iowa's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award hon- oree. Following his final round in Baton Rouge, Schaake reflected on his time as a Hawkeye. "It has been an amazing four years," said Schaake. "I've played a lot of great golf tournaments, the win at Big Ten's my sophomore year was great. Overall, it was great to play against good college golfers, stand up to them and beat them at bigger tournaments." Senior Raymond Knoll finished with a 54-hole total of 228 (+12) tying him for 44th at the NCAA Regional. Knoll competed in every event this season and was the top finisher for the Hawkeyes four times. e two-time second-team All-Big Ten honoree captured two medalist honors in his career. e Naperville, Illinois, native took the title at the Chechessee Creek Club Dual earlier this year, and won the 2015 Golfweek Conference Challenge. Knoll's 54-hole total of 205 (-11) at the 2015 GolfWeek Challenge still stands as the lowest three-round total in program history. Knoll accu- mulated 13 rounds at or below par with a season- low of 66 (-5) at the Mason Rudolph Champion- ship. "Both Raymond and Carson had great Iowa ca- reers, they will certainly be hard to replace," said Iowa head coach Tyler Stith. Although the Hawkeyes lose two of their top play- ers to graduation, they return three with champi- onship experience. Freshmen Jack Simpson and Alex Schaake locked a top finish for the Hawkeyes in their first season wearing black and gold, while Matthew Walker also had three top finishes. Simpson was the leading finisher for the Hawk- eyes at the Big Ten Championships. e Aurora, Ontario, native carded a career-best, 54-hole score of 214 (+4; 74, 68, 72) to tie for 16th overall. His bogey-free second-round score of 68 (-2) marked an 18-hole career best. "It was an awesome experience competing with the best players in the Big Ten," said Simpson. "It gave me confidence going forward" Schaake was the top finisher for the Hawkeyes at the Paintbrush Intercollegiate last fall, finishing in a tie for 18th at the 54-hole event. e Omaha, Nebraska, native fired a three-round 218 (+2). Schaake also carded an 18-hole career-best finish at the Big Ten Championships, posting a 66 (-4) in the final round. "Alex and Jack gained a lot of confidence this sea- son," said Stith. "I know their teammates gained a lot of confidence in them as well." Walker, a sophomore, recorded a 72.52 scoring average this season, the lowest on the team. e second-team All-Big Ten honoree registered four top-10 and seven top-20 finishes this year with 16 rounds at or below par. e Ottumwa, Iowa, na- tive's lowest 54-hole finish came at the Royal Oaks Invitational and the Mason Rudolph Champion- ship, where he recorded a total of 210 (-3). Iowa returns seven letterwinners and adds two newcomers — Jaewook Lee and Jake Rowe for the 2017-18 season.

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