Three Big Takeaways: Men’s golf opens spring season on positive note


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Members of the Iowa State men’s golf team watch a drive travel down the fairway at Coldwater Golf Links on April 3. 

Tom Turner Tom_Turner00

The Cyclone men’s golf team returned from a long break at the Arizona Intercollegiate Monday through Tuesday — with the event filled with both positives and negatives.

Iowa State finished T7 at the event and will look to improve from its poor fall season with the spring season now underway.

Full team effort

Having just one golfer inside the top-30 won’t do much for the overall team score.

That’s what Iowa State found out in the Arizona Intercollegiate earlier in the week. The Cyclones saw two different versions of themselves during that meet.

Through the first 10 holes of round one, Iowa State had four of its five golfers inside the top-25 for individual scorers. Later in rounds two and three, only one Cyclone remained in the top-25 (Josh Hetherington). 

When Iowa State had four of its golfers inside the top-25, the team was hovering around a top-three placement team in the event.

“Everyone was loose, relaxed and really excited to be back,” Iowa State head coach Andrew Tank said. “I thought the good energy helped us get off to a good start. They had good preparation going into this meet.”

Consistent play

Luke Gutschewski, who led the team in stroke average in the fall season, had an inconsistent couple of days in Arizona.

Gutschewski was tied for 20th (-2) as an individual coming into day two. Things went downhill fast, as he finished tied for 34th place (E). 

Hetherington, who didn’t have the best fall season, ended up tied for 14th (-5). Tank was pleased with the effort Hetherington gave through each round.

“I think a lot more practice really helped him,” Tank said. “He was more comfortable and he was hitting the ball very well from tee to green. Josh didn’t have the best fall season, but he showed he can do some great things.”

It’s early in the spring season, but Hetherington seems like he could emerge as one of the top golfers for the Cyclones.

Smaller victories

“It’s gonna be a steep climb from where we put ourselves in the fall season,” Tank said. “From me, do we have the talent and desire to make the NCAA Tournament? Yes. It’s a long shot at this point, but there are still a lot of other goals. Winning a tournament and finishing top-three in the Big 12 Tournament, are just some of them.”

After a tough fall season, Tank said there are still victories to be won for this team, even if appearing in the NCAA Tournament isn’t one of them. Even after falling in the standings in the Arizona Intercollegiate, Tank still loved the attitude from his golfers.

“Even to the end, they were giving everything they had. I loved the fight that they showed,” Tank said.

With the spring season just underway, there is still time for the Cyclones to collect victories before it’s all over.

Both Gutschewski and Lachlan Barker, who are some of the better golfers on the team, will look to bounce back during the upcoming meet. The same can be said for Frank Lindwall as well. Lindwall started every meet before the Arizona Intercollegiate this season, and he didn’t qualify to golf based on the practice that the team had in Arizona a week before the meet.

The Cyclones next golf meet is in La Quinta, Cali. The event will be played from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23.