BURLINGTON, Iowa – Through the first round of the eighth annual Golfweek Conference Challenge at Spirit Hollow Golf Course, the University of Iowa men’s golf team is tied for seventh among a 12-team field.
“We started slow, couldn’t get much going on the front nine, and made some big numbers,” said UI head coach Tyler Stith. “We’re in the middle of the pack and wasted too many shots today. The wind was blowing in a direction today that made scoring pretty easy, and we didn’t take advantage of that.”
Senior Raymond Knoll — the 2015 Golfweek Conference Challenge Champion — posted a 69 (-3) on day one. After carding a three-under-par front nine, highlighted by four birdies, he posted an even-par 36 on the back, putting him in a tie for fourth heading into Saturday’s second round.
“I feel really good about my play today,” said Knoll. “Last year I was able to get to 11 under par after the first two rounds, that’s pretty rare, so I am just happy to post an under-par round. Hopefully I’ll be able to build off that the next two rounds.”
“Raymond plays great at this golf course,” said Stith. “He’s a great player and continues to put himself into contention each and every week that we play. He had another solid round today and I expect to see another one tomorrow.”
Sophomore Matthew Walker followed close behind Knoll, carding a two-over-par 74 on Friday. With the help of an eagle on the par-five second hole, Walker made the turn at one-under-par. He finished the day with 14 holes at par or better and is tied for 33rd.
Senior Carson Schaake posted a two-over-par 74 on day one, making par or better on 15 holes. His round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-five second hole and a birdie on the par-three seventh. Schaake is tied for 33rd overall with fellow Hawkeye Matthew Walker.
Freshman Alex Schaake made his collegiate debut today, firing a three-over-par 75. He heads into Saturday’s round in a tie for 38th.
Junior Sam Meuret rounded out Iowa’s play on Friday, carding a six-over-par 78, he is tied for 50th.
“I think we need to take care of our golf ball off the tee,” added Stith. “We worked on the greens after the round and hit a few balls, we’re feeling better, just need to do the simple things better.”
The Golfweek Conference Challenge resumes Saturday with 9 a.m. (CT) tee times off holes No. 1 and No. 10. Play will conclude Sunday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.