Busy summer prepares men’s golf for fall season


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;

An event-filled summer offseason for the ISU men’s golf team has bridged the gap between the spring and fall seasons.

From the opening of a new practice facility to the individual achievements of several Cyclone golfers, much has been accomplished in preparation for the team’s first meet at the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 8 to 9 in Independence, Minn.

“Everyone’s just so excited for a new year and the new facility is just incredible,” said coach Andrew Tank in regards to the new Cyclone Golf Performance Center.

The Cyclone Golf Performance Center, which opened this summer, has been an asset to players as they prepare for their five meets this fall.

“You can practice just about any type of shot here, you have so many options,” said redshirt sophomore Collin Foster. “It’s great, you almost never want to leave.”

Aside from the new facility in Ames, the ISU golf program has made a global impression in recruiting, with two of the three freshmen hailing from overseas.

Ruben Sondjaja, of Australia, and Nick Voke, of New Zealand, join Jack Carter, of Columbus, Ohio, on this year’s freshman class.

“They’re all adjusting really well so far; they’re very excited to be here,” Tank said. “Nick and Ruben, even though they’re freshmen, have a lot of international experience.”

Sondjaja and Voke carry on the recent trend of international Cyclone golfers in joining New Zealanders Duncan Croudis and Sam Daley, as well as Scott Fernandez of Spain.

Fernandez, the 2012-13 ISU male athlete of the year, has made an international impression of his own, placing third in the European Amateur and competing for Team Europe in the Palmer Cup.

“I think that was probably the most exciting experience for me,” Fernandez said. “I remember on my first day, I had Arnold Palmer right behind me on the first tee. That was a memorable experience.”

In the Palmer Cup, an inter-collegiate competition between the United States and Europe, Fernandez helped secure two points for his team en route to one of the more successful records for Team Europe, who went on to lose 20.5-9.5.

After the Palmer Cup in May, Fernandez competed in the European Amateur tournament in July. He placed third in a field filled with many of the world’s top amateurs.

The next week, Fernandez traveled back stateside to compete in the United States Amateur, where he would miss the cut to advance to the final match-play rounds.

“It was a lot of travel, a lot of back and forth, but it was a good experience,” Fernandez said.

Several other players competed in tournaments nationwide throughout the summer to keep their games sharp, many of which resulted in top-10 finishes.

“I love the fact that the guys are out there playing and competing,” Tank said. “I want them to come into the fall season and just have it be a continuation of the summer and just keep on going.”