ISU men’s golf to compete at David Toms Intercollegiate


Photo: Huiling Wu/Iowa State Daily

Sam Daley practices at the Cold Water Golf Field Sept. 10.

Mike Randleman

The ISU men’s golf team is set to compete in their penultimate tournament of the fall season at the David Toms Intercollegiate.

The tournament is hosted by Louisiana State in Baton Rouge, La., and will take place at the University Club Golf Course, at which the Cyclones expect to find a challenging setup.

“It’s very demanding, especially around the greens. You have to have a really good short game, and it really rewards hitting smart shots,” said ISU coach Andrew Tank. “If you put yourself short-sided in a bad position around the greens, you can have a really awkward pitch or chip-shot.”

This tournament will mark the first time this season that the team has played on Bermuda grass, a type of grass prevalent in warmer climates. The difference between Bermuda grass and bent grass, which is more common in cooler climates, is most noticeable on the greens.

Bermuda grass features thicker blades of grass, leading to a grainier surface, which can alter how players read the greens and the speed of each particular putt.

“I’ve played all my golf [growing up] on Bermuda grass, and some of the other boys have played on Bermuda so it’s not too big of a difference,” said junior Sam Daley.

Although the team has yet to encounter Bermuda grass in competition this season, it is highly common in Australia and New Zealand, where three of Iowa State’s five starters call home.

Daley and freshman Ruben Sondjaja hail from Australia, and freshman Nick Voke is from New Zealand.

Daley also has experience at the University Club in 2011, finishing in a tie for 47th place in the LSU Invitational.

Aside from the grass, junior starter Scott Fernandez also mentioned how the course could prove challenging in that it features several water hazards and requires proper ball placement in order to succeed.

“The last few holes are pretty tough; you have to play really smart,” Fernandez said. “I think the team that wins this week is the team that keeps the most patience.”

Redshirt sophomore Collin Foster will round out the starting lineup for the Cyclones, who will be competing against 11 other teams, four of which are in the top 50 of the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

The tournament is named after current PGA Tour professional David Toms, 13-time PGA Tour winner and winner of the 2001 PGA Championship.

“I haven’t seen anything on the schedule saying he’s going to be, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” Tank said regarding if Toms would make an appearance.