Five things to look for in ISU men’s golf season debut


Scott Fernandez, junior in pre-business, practices on the new golf facility. Teammate Collin Foster said: “It’s amazing, the options you have. … You can practice almost every shot.”

Mike Randleman

The ISU men’s golf team will make its debut at the Virginia Commonwealth University Shootout on Sept. 22 at the Hermitage Country Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Here are five things to look for when the Cyclones hit the links for the first time in the 2014-15 season:

1) Rust vs. readiness: At this time last season, Iowa State had already competed in two events and was preparing for its third. As the only team in the field to be making its debut this week, rust could be a factor, but senior Scott Fernandez said the team is “hungry for golf” and the extra preparation could play to the team’s advantage.

2) A weak field: The 13-team field at the VCU Shootout is one of the weaker events on the Cyclones’ schedule, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Only four top-100 teams from last season’s final rankings are featured, with No. 42 Iowa State entering the event as the second-highest ranked team. The highest-ranked team is last year’s team champion, No. 21 Virginia Tech.

3) History repeating: The VCU Shootout has been one of Iowa State’s most successful tournaments in years past. Former Cyclone Nate McCoy won the event in 2010, Fernandez won in 2011 and both Fernandez and the team finished in second place last year.

4) Returning experience: Iowa State’s top six contributors from last year’s squad, which finished 25th at the NCAA Championship last season, are back for the 2014-15 season. Those six players — Jack Carter, Sam Daley, Fernandez, Collin Foster, Ruben Sondjaja and Nick Voke — will compete this week, with Carter slated to compete as an individual.

5) Voke’s return from injury: Nick Voke was Iowa State’s second-leading scorer last season before missing NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championship with a collarbone injury. He will be making his first collegiate start since he tied for ninth place at the Big 12 Championship in April.