CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The 2013 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) men’s golf championship begins this weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, with the first 36 holes of the 72-hole Championship at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City. The final 36 holes will be played May 4-5 at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids. Both rounds on the opening weekend will begin at 9 a.m. At Elmcrest, teams will tee off beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday. Coe College is the host of the 2013 Iowa Conference Men’s Golf Championship.
On the first day of the Championship, Central College, as the defending Conference Champion is seeded first, and its players will play with golfers from teams seeded second, third and fourth (Luther, Simpson and Dubuque). Teams are seeded based on the averages from its four best 18-hole team scores during the spring. Players from teams seeded fifth through eighth (Coe, Loras, Buena Vista and Wartburg) will tee off in the second wave.
Pairings for the final three rounds will be based on the team score following the previous round. Teams placed first through fourth tee off first in round two followed by teams placed fifth through eighth in a second wave. Three waves will be employed on the second weekend at Elmcrest 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 one player who competed the first weekend may be substituted for on the second weekend.
AQ on the Line: In 2007, the NCAA expanded the field size for the Division III Men’s Golf National Championship and began awarding automatic bids to qualifying Conferences. The Iowa Conference men’s golf champion will be the Conference’s automatic qualifier to the 2013 NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship scheduled for May 14-17 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. Methodist University is this year’s championship host.
About the 2013 Season: Defending IIAC champion Central enters the 2012 Championship having won the Illinois-Springfield Spring Fling and finishing second at the Graceland Spring Invitational and the Millikin (Ill.) Weist Foundation Classic. The Dutch, who have two of the league’s top 10 golfers this spring based on stroke average, rank fourth as a team with a 305.0 average over seven varsity rounds this spring.
Simpson, which has a league-low 302.5 scoring average over four spring rounds and has three individuals in the league’s top 10, took second at the Wartburg and Simpson Invitationals and third at the Loras Invitational. Wartburg has a 304.0 scoring average over just two spring rounds. However, both rounds resulted in tournament victories as the Knights captured team crowns at the one-day Wartburg and Luther Invitationals.
Luther, which is tied with Wartburg with a 304.0 spring scoring average over five rounds, won the Loras Spring Invitational. Dubuque (6 rounds/318.7 average) took second in the Luther Spring Invitational and third in the Aurora Spring Invite, Coe (5 rounds/323.8) placed third in the Simpson Invitational, Loras (4 rounds/325.8) was third in the Luther Invitational and Buena Vista (4 rounds/327.0) was fourth at the Loras Invitational.
Individually, Luther’s Andrew Peter (1st, 72.4) and Joel Bruns (5th, 74.8), Central’s Justin Livingston (2nd, 74.3) and Simpson’sZach Hale (t-3rd, 74.8) and Andy Hutchins (t-3rd, 74.8) hold the Conference’s top five stroke averages among players with at least two spring rounds played. Central’s Jared Nepomuceno (t-6th, 75.0), Wartburg’s Dominick Smith (t-6th, 75.0), Buena Vista’s John Bral (7th, 75.3), Coe’s Tyler Gunderson (9th, 75.8) and Simpson’s Trent Lindenman (10th, 76.0) round out the top ten. This spring, Livingston, Peter and Luther’s Tobias Kohl have each fired two rounds at par or better. Peter fired the league’s low round of the season with a 6-under 66 in Luther’s Spring Break Triangular with Farmingdale State (N.Y.) and St. Joseph’s (N.Y.), while Livingston fired rounds of 71 and 68 at the Millikin Weist Foundation Classic on April 12-13. There were a total of 14 rounds at par or better this spring.
Five times this spring, Iowa Conference golfers have claimed tournament medalist honors. Peter’s 66 earned him honors at the Luther Spring Break Triangular, while Livingston tied for first at the University of Illinois-Springfield Spring Fling with a 77 and Nepomuceno tied for first at the Central Shootout with a 74. Wartburg’s Smith also shot a 74 to take medalist honors at the Luther Invitational at Finkbine. Bruns shot an even-par 143 (71-72) to win the Loras Spring Invitational.
Complete team and individual season statistics follow this release.
2012 Championship Recap: Central College led from start to finish en route to capturing its IIAC-record 30th men’s golf championship, posting the low team total in each of the four rounds. Loras’ Sam Herrmann carded a final-round 73 and captured Championship medalist honors by three strokes. Herrmann was also named IIAC Men’s Golfer of the Year while Central coachChad Green was named IIAC Men’s Golf Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.
The Dutch, whose four medalist-eligible golfers all finished in the top 12, finished with a 72-hole total of 1,236 as they captured their fourth straight title and fifth crown in the last six years.
Luther placed second with a 1,273 total, followed by Coe (1,281), Dubuque (1,286), Buena Vista (1,288) and Wartburg (1,291). Loras (1,316), Simpson (1,348) and Cornell (1,455) rounded out the field.
Herrmann, playing in an early group, posted his 1-over 73 and then was forced to wait out the rest of the field, including all of the other leaders. After carding an opening-round 82 in treacherous conditions at Bos Landen in Pella, Herrmann rebounded to finish 72-74-73 for a 301 total. Third-round leader Tobias Kohl of Luther closed out with a 78 and finished three strokes back with a 304 total. Central followed with the next three golfers as Justin Livingston tied for the low round of the day with a 72 and finished at 306. Matt Vegter and Brent Goodenow both finished at 308, but Vegter took fourth with a par to Goodenow’s bogey on the first playoff hole.
Buena Vista's Mitch Brunick and Dubuque's Eric Wolfe and Martin Odegard all tied at 314, but Brunick claimed sixth place after a three-hole playoff. Wolfe took seventh while Odegard was eighth. Coe's Tyler Gunderson took ninth in a playoff with teammateGarrett Cross and Wartburg's Lance Johnson. Cross and Johnson were left in a tie for 10th place. All 11 individuals received all-Conference honors.
Along with its 30th Iowa Conference men’s golf title, Central also earned an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship where they finished 24th.
Top Returning Individuals: Twenty-one golfers with previous IIAC Championship experience return to their team’s lineup this year including three who could be making their fourth appearance at the Conference Championship – Coe’s Garrett Cross, Dubuque’s Chris Kerr and Loras’ Sam Herrman.
Eleven of last year’s top-20 finishers, including seven of the top 10, return from last year. In addition to Herrmann, Kohl, Livingston, Wolfe, Odegard, Gunderson and Cross, Mitch Sobotta of Dubuque also has all-Iowa Conference honors to his credit. Sobotta placed 10th at the 2011 IIAC Championships.
Probable lineups: Probable line-ups for the Conference Championship are listed below. Players in bold have previously competed in the Iowa Conference Championship. As of April 24, playoffs for spots in the Championship lineup were still being held at some schools resulting in more than five names being listed below.
Buena Vista John Bral, Luke Anderson, Conor Dondale, Andrew Zinn, Jaxson Armstrong
Central Justin Livingston, Desmond Stoll, John Prescott, Jared Nepomuceno, David Watson
Coe Garrett Cross, Tyler Gunderson, Mitch Moon, Zach Stafford, Mark Proust, Kyle Boardman
Dubuque Eric Wolfe, Martin Odegard, Mitch Sobotta, Chris Kerr, Alex Beck, Anders Haukoos, Chance
Manternach, Troy Krueger
Loras Sam Herrmann, Jon Nugent, Jason Beer, James Komorowski, James Gallery
Luther Andrew Peter, Tobias Kohl, Joel Bruns, Matt Axelrod, Ben Kerns
Simpson Zach Hale, Andy Hutchins, Trent Lindenman, Conner Juilfs, Shaan Desai
Wartburg Carson Barron, Dominick Smith, Nate Meisinger, Matt Kristensen, John Sexton, Jeremy Carper