ISU men’s golf to return to Greensboro, site of past success


Senior Scott Fernandez  practices putting at the ISU golf performance center on U.S Highway 69 just south of Ames on Sept. 21, 2013.

Mike Randleman

The ISU men’s golf team will cap off its fall season at a tournament that has treated them well the past two years.

The Cyclones will compete at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27, at the Grandover Resort East Course in Greensboro, N.C.

In 2011, Iowa State took first place, though at a different course, Forest Oaks Country Club. Last year at Grandover, the team recorded its best result of the 2012-13 campaign, finishing in third place.

“It’s always comforting to know that when those guys show up to the practice round on Friday they know what to expect, so there’s not as much course-mapping and strategy decisions that they have to do,” said ISU coach Andrew Tank.

Sam Daley, Scott Fernandez, Collin Foster and Blake Waller all competed in last year’s tournament, with Fernandez and Waller recording top-10 finishes.

The team’s fifth starter, freshman Ruben Sondjaja, will be a newcomer to the Grandover East Course, though he will be have his teammates to look to for advice.

“He’ll be able to learn from those other guys who have played it,” Tank said. “That’s always a huge benefit when you go back to a course you’re familiar with.”

One teammate he can look to in particular is Scott Fernandez, who led the team by finishing in a tie for third-place in last year’s event.

“It’s kind of a tricky course with trees, you need to keep it in play off of the tee,” Fernandez said of the course. “The greens are sloping, but nothing crazy. The pin [placements] are going to be tough.”

He will look to share his course knowledge with Sondjaja, as well as the rest of his teammates.

“I’ll try to show the guys where the good spots [to play from] are,” Fernandez said. “There are a lot of blind shots off the tee, which can put you off sometimes, but you just have to pick a good target.”

Conditions for Saturday and Sunday are expected to set up favorably for the Cyclones, as temperatures are expected to dip into the 40s and 50s during competition.

“The thing that’s going to help us is that the weather conditions look similar to what we’ve been practicing in the last week or so,” Tank said. “I expect that our guys will adjust to that really well. It should be to our advantage that our guys are comfortable playing colder weather.”

Iowa State, ranked 30th in the country, will enter the tournament as the second-highest ranked team in the field of 14, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.

The team will be without its scoring average leader this week, Nick Voke, who is set to take part in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Championship in Beijing.

Voke qualified for the tournament by means of being a top-six ranked amateur in New Zealand in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

“It’s one of the most elite amateur events in the world; he’ll have a chance to earn a spot in The Masters,” Tank said. “It’s a great opportunity for him. I know he’s pumped, and I’m really excited to see how he does.”