1st-round struggles hold back ISU golf in Baton Rouge

Mike Randleman

After two rounds at the David Toms Intercollegiate, the ISU men’s golf team is tied for sixth place.

The Cyclones struggled in round one, shooting a collective total of 12-over-par, which had them in sixth place heading into Saturday’s afternoon round.

Scoring did improve in the first round, with four of Iowa State’s five starters matching or improving upon their scores. The Cyclones were unable to move up the leaderboard, however, as other teams around them were able to match or beat Iowa State’s second-round total of 292.

Junior Scott Fernandez led the way for the Cyclones, shooting 74 and 71 for a 1-over-par total.

Fernandez got off to a rocky start in round one, a consistent theme in each of his tournaments so far this season.

Through his first seven holes, Fernandez was 4-over-par and near the bottom of the leaderboard. He was able to recover though and recorded just one bogey in his final 29 holes en route to finishing in a tie for eighth place and five shots behind first place heading into Sunday’s final round.

“He impressed me today because he kept fighting, and overall, you could just see his demeanor on the golf course was a lot better,” said ISU coach Andrew Tank about Fernandez. “I think he’s in a pretty good place right now and if he can go out tomorrow and be patient, he can post a low score.” 

Junior Sam Daley, also showed improvement in the second round. After he shot a 78 in the first round, which was tied for the team’s worst score, he righted the ship in round two with a 71. That score resulted in the team’s third-best score and a tie for 27th place overall.

Freshman Nick Voke was unable to record an under-par round like Daley or Fernandez, but his steady play resulted in scores of 73 and 75, good for the team’s second-best score and a tie for 23rd place overall.

“He said he thought he played really well today,” Tank said of Voke. “He just had a difficult three-hole stretch [holes 29-31], but he fought back well with two birdies in his last five holes.”

Voke had more birdies, with six, than holes over-par, with five, on Saturday, but one of his over-par holes was a quadruple-bogey on his 29th hole of the day. That mistake could prove costly in his chances for a title, as he sits eight shots behind leader Eamon Bradley, of Southeastern Louisiana.

Freshman Ruben Sondjaja also recorded a qualifying score for the Cyclones, carding two rounds of 75, resulting in a tie for 31st overall.

Redshirt sophomore Collin Foster rounded out the starting lineup for the Cyclones and carded rounds of 78 and 77, good for a tie for 51st. His score currently does not count toward team scoring, as only the top four scores per team are considered.

Heading into Sunday’s third and final round, Iowa State sits 22 shots behind front-running Southeastern Louisiana and 12 shots behind second place, Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 22-shot deficit is the highest Iowa State has faced heading into a final round this season.

“The way this golf course is, you can have some pretty big swings. If we make some birdies and a couple of the other teams make big numbers, you just never know,” Tank said. “I think we can make up a lot of shots tomorrow and have the low round of the day and see where that puts us.”