2015 IIAC Men's Golf Championship Begins Play

Apr 23, 2015

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The 2015 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Men’s Golf Championship begins this weekend, Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, with the first 36 holes of the 72-hole event at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. Teams will tee off at 9 a.m. both days. The final 36 holes will be played May 1-2 at Thunder Hills Country Club in Peosta with teams teeing off beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday. Loras College is the host of the 2015 Iowa Conference Men’s Golf Championship.

On the first day of the Championship, teams will tee off according to seeding based on the averages from its four best 18-hole team scores during the spring. Players seeded seventh (Wartburg) and eighth (Coe) will tee off in the first wave, followed by players from teams seeded fourth through sixth (Luther, Buena Vista, Loras) in the second wave. Players from the top three seeded teams (Dubuque, Central, Simpson) will tee off in the final wave.

Pairings for the final three rounds will based on the aggregate team score following the previous round. Teams placed first through third will tee off first in round two followed by teams ranking fourth through sixth in the second wave and teams placed seventh and eighth in the third and final wave. Three waves will be employed on the second weekend at Thunder Hills Country Club with teams placed seventh and eighth teeing off first on both days of the tournament’s final weekend.

Each school may enter five players for each round with the four best performances each day used to determine the team score. Substitutions are not permitted from Friday to Saturday, however, schools may elect to substitute one player between the weekends of the Championship.

AQ on the Line: In 2007, the NCAA expanded the field size for the Division III Men’s Golf Championship and began awarding automatic berths to qualifying conferences. The Iowa Conference men’s golf champion will be the conference’s automatic qualifier to the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship scheduled for May 12-15 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. Guilford College is this year’s championship host.

About the 2015 Season: 31-time Iowa Conference champion Central, which is ranked 10th in the most recent Bushnell Golfweek/GCAA Division III Coaches Poll, enters the 2015 Championship having won in four of five outings this spring. The Dutch, who have a league-low 292.9 scoring average over nine spring rounds and has six individuals in the league’s top 10, won the Illinois-Springfield Beach Bash, invitationals hosted by Webster and Loras and the Central Dutch Masters and took second in the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational.

Simpson (6 rounds/309.0) won its own invitational to open the spring season, then followed it up with back-to-back third place finishes at the Wartburg and Loras invitationals. Luther (7 rounds/312.3) took third at both the Orange County Invitational over spring break and was fourth at the Buena Vista Invitational. Dubuque (8 rounds/315.2) took third at the Duhawk Spring Invitational. Buena Vista (6 rounds/319.8) picked up a runner-up finish at their home invitational on April 17-18. Wartburg (4 rounds/323.0), competing in just two tournaments heading into the championship, took fourth at their home invitational. Loras (5 rounds/326.2) placed eighth at the Elmhurst Invitational. Coe (6 rounds/348.7), with a spring-best finish of ninth at the Simpson Spring Invitational, rounds out the field.

One stroke separates the Conference’s top four stroke averages among players with at least three spring rounds played. Central’s Adam Squires and Desmond Stoll share the top spot, averaging 73.6 strokes over nine rounds (662 strokes). Two more Dutch players, Clayton Curwin and Jon Prescott, are tied for third at 73.7 over nine rounds (663 strokes). Simpson’s Trent Lindenman (fifth, 75.0), Central’s David Watson (sixth, 75.2) and Jon Walsh (eighth, 75.7), Dubuque’s Josh Schuberg (seventh, 75.6) and Luther’s Britton Vander Linden (ninth, 75.8) and Peter Kephart (10th, 76.3) round out the top 10.

This spring, 18 golfers have fired a total of 27 rounds of par or better, led by Curwin with four. Squires and Prescott have three each while Stoll and Lindenman both have two. Central’s Ryan Minor fired the league’s low round with a 65 over a short course at the Stone Creek Challenge. Among rounds played at regulation distances, Watson shot a 68 at the Illinois-Springfield Beach Bash and Prescott posted a 68 of his own at the Central Dutch Masters, Lindenman fired a 69 to close the Duhawk Spring Invitational and Squires posted first-round 69s at both the Duhawk Spring Invitational and the Central Dutch Masters.

Seven times this spring, Iowa Conference golfers have claimed tournament medalist honors. Four Dutch golfers won titles this spring -- Watson won the Illinois-Springfield Beach Bash, Curwin won the Webster Invitational, Minor won the Stone Creek Challenge and Prescott topped Squires via a tiebreaker for the crown at the Central Dutch Masters. Simpson’s Lindenman won the Duhawk Spring Invitational and teammate Andy Hutchins won the Simpson Spring Invitational. The final title came from Buena Vista’s John Bral at the Buena Vista Spring Invitational.

2014 Championship Recap: The University of Dubuque captured its first men’s golf title in 39 years after posting a 7-shot victory at the 2014 IIAC Men’s Golf Championship. The Spartans fired a final-round 305 at Dubuque Golf and Country Club -- their home course -- behind four rounds in the 70s to finish with a 72-hole total of 1210. Defending champion Central was second at 1217.

Dubuque senior Eric Wolfe fired rounds of 75 and 73 on the final weekend to finish at 4-over 288 -- 11 strokes clear of Central’s Desmond Stoll (299). Wolfe was the first Spartan since Jim Kinney in 1975 to capture medalist honors and was named IIAC Golfer of the Year, also the first since Kinney in 1975. Wolfe’s 288 total matched Central’s Roger Dortch (2001) for the second lowest 72-hole championship total, falling two strokes short of matching the record of 286 set by Loras’ Pete Weber in 2005.

The top 10 individuals earned all-Iowa Conference honors. Behind Wolfe and Stoll, Luther’s Tobias Kohl took third with a 300 total, just ahead of Coe’s Tyler Gunderson at 301. Central’s Adam Squires (304) took fifth place with a 1-hole playoff victory over Dubuque’s Josh Schuberg, while Luther’s Elliot Horst was seventh at 305. Dubuque’s Martin Odegard (309) birdied the fifth sudden-death playoff hole to take eighth place over Simpson’s Conner Juilfs and Wartburg’s Michael Canfield, Simpson’s Trent Lindenman, Luther’s Andrew Peter and Central’s David Watson finished in a 4-way tie for 10th place at 310.

It was the fourth all-IIAC honor for Wolfe, Kohl and Odegard, the third for Gunderson and the second for Peter, Stoll and Watson.

Iowa Conference Men’s Golf Coach of the Year honors went to Dubuque’s Jon Davison for the second time. The other such honor came in 1975. He was also named IIAC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year on three occasions (1986, 1988, 1990).

Top Returning Individuals: Twenty-three golfers with previous IIAC Championship experience return to their team’s lineup this year, including three who will be making their fourth appearance -- Central’s Adam Squires, Coe’s Tyler Gunderson and Simpson’s Andy Hutchins.

Thirteen of last year’s top 20 finishers, including eight of the top 10 (plus ties), return from last year. In addition to Stoll, Gunderson, Squires, Schubert, Horst, Canfield, Lindenman and Watson, Carson Barron of Wartburg also has all-Iowa Conference honors to his credit. Barron placed fourth at the 2013 IIAC Championships. Gunderson will be looking for his fourth all-conference honor and Stoll and Watson their third.

Probable lineups for the IIAC Championship are:

Buena Vista - John Bral, Hunter Bruhn, Brady Haye, Luke Anderson, Miller Hatcher

Central - Desmond Stoll, Adam Squires, Jon Prescott, Clayton Curwin, David Watson

Coe - Tyler Gunderson, Seth Inman, Anthony Worden, Hunter Mulnix, Alex Everhart

Dubuque - Josh Schuberg, Troy Krueger, Anders Haukoos, Chance Manternach, Tyler Engelken

Loras - Logan Bahl, Jason Beer, Peter Leinenweber, Ben Suchomski, Brody Kuhar

Luther - Elliot Horst, Peter Kephart, Britton Vander Linden, Bryce Pierce, Sam Grotnes

Simpson - Trent Lindenman, Andy Hutchins, Shaan Desai, Nathan Molstead, Jimmy Siebert

Wartburg - Michael Canfield, Tanner Randall, Hunter Giesselman