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Iowa State Daily

Iowa State men’s golf pursues successful fall season at Big 12 Match Play

Luke+Gutschewski+and+assistant+coach+Ruben+Sondjaja+strategize+at+the+Hawkeye+Invitational+on+Apr.+14%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Luke Gutschewski and assistant coach Ruben Sondjaja strategize at the Hawkeye Invitational on Apr. 14, 2023.

The Iowa State golf team will make the long trip to Hockley, Texas, on Sunday to participate in Big 12 Match Play.

The entirety of the Big 12 Conference and its’ respective men’s golf teams will head to Texas and go head-to-head with one another. The tournament also creates a unique spin on the typical team tournament as each player is put in a one-on-one match with a player from the opposing team.

The two golfers’ scores are paired and are assigned points that will contribute to the overall team score, with a win scoring three points, a draw earning one point and a loss earning no points at all. Teams in the conference will be split into pools, which will be announced before the event starts. Big 12 Match Play occurs annually and will conclude the Cyclones’ fall season.

The team heads into the event in a sort of middle ground. While the Cyclones have earned two wins, they showed mediocre play in other weeks. They hold a 2-2 record of first-place finishes on the season. The Cyclones’ most recent tournament, the Fighting Irish Classic in South Bend, Indiana, resulted in a fifth-place finish.

Though their record doesn’t quite reflect it, Iowa State has a secret weapon: junior Luke Gutschewski. Gutschewski was awarded the Big 12 Golfer of the Month on Thursday for his dominant performances in September.

Gutschewski is coming off his worst performance of the season, where he still finished top-three on the team. The former Nebraska Junior Amateur of 2020 is only a few weeks removed from his individual victory at the Zach Johnson Invitational. Gutschewski is the veteran leader of the team, and prior trends indicate that a good performance from the junior usually equates to high placing for the Cyclones.

Besides Gutschewski, the Cyclones are nowhere near devoid of talent. The team will also bring along sophomores Paul Beauvy and Zach May, who have both put in great performances, as well as the freshmen tandem of Owen Sawyer and Dianchao Wu. At any given time, the four can bring top-ten performances and are not to be slept on.

The version of the team that takes on the final challenge of the season will determine the outcome of the Big 12 Match Play. If the Iowa State Cyclones that walked out with the Zach Johnson Invitational title travel to Texas, the Big 12 is in for an exciting day of golf. However, if the Cyclones that showed up at the Gopher Invitational reappear in Texas, they may well mark the day down as a loss before they tee off.

Only time will tell what the Cyclones have in the tank.

Big 12 Match Play will begin Monday and finish Wednesday. The Cyclones will then have a break until Jan. 29, 2024, when they open their spring season.

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