May 2019

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23 F ollowing a four-year career on the University of Iowa men's golf team, senior Matthew Walker lived out a childhood dream of competing for the Hawkeyes. As a small-town Iowa kid, Walker imagined playing for Iowa. He did just that, competing in every tournament during his four years. "is program has meant a lot. Growing up, it was always my dream to play for Iowa," said Walker. "I have worked toward it ever since I started playing golf at 5 years old, so when they offered me (a scholarship), it was a dream. I couldn't be more thankful to the coaches and teammates who have helped me." e Ottumwa, Iowa, native saw his dream become reality when he competed in his first tournament as a freshman in the fall of 2015. Since then, he grew to become a leader within the program and developing during his tenure. "He has matured a lot over the last four years aer coming in shy and quiet," said Iowa head coach Tyler Stith. "He has grown into a leadership role and the guys on the team respect him a lot for the way he conducts himself. e younger guys look up to him. He has grown as much as anyone that I have ever coached." Being able to compete in every tournament is special for a student-athlete. Walker has had that opportunity and the chance to create memories with each event. One memory sticks out to him above them all: his final regular-season tournament of his collegiate career, the Hawkeye Invitational, last month. Walker set a career and school- best 54-hole record of 199 (-14) to earn his first career first- place finish along with junior teammate Alex Schaake. He was also able to help his team claim the team title with a record- setting 54-hole score of 809 (-43). "Breaking a number of records, both individually and as a team, at the Hawkeye Invitational was memorable," Walker said. "To have my first win both individually and as a team come at home is special because it happened in front of my friends and family." e senior has represented the program with class throughout his time here both on and off the golf course. He has been able to impress Stith with his work ethic. "He has been a great ambassador for our program," Stith said. "He is a kid that always does things the right way. He is always on time. He always does what you tell him to do. You could not ask for a more coachable and more likeable kid." MAY SCHEDULE May 13-15 at NCAA Regionals (Austin, Texas) May 24-29 at NCAA Championships (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

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