Nick Voke earns record-tying fourth tournament title


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Dail

Nick Voke, seen here in October 2014, is one stroke off of the individual lead with one round to play at the 2015 Gopher Invitational on Sept. 13-14

Ivan Vega

The Iowa State men’s golf team ended the second day of competition in the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City on Sunday, finishing fourth place out of 15 teams scoring 868 (293-284-291).

No. 11 Texas Tech won the invitational with a 855 (285-284-286) score. Behind Texas in the rankings was Iowa, which shot a 859 (289-285-285), and No. 43 Kansas, which shot a 860 (286-280-294).

Playing in his last regular season competition, senior Nick Voke made program history by winning the overall competition out of 82 players, shooting a 207 (68-67-72) on the day.

The win marked Voke’s fourth of his Iowa State career, tying him with former All-American Scott Fernandez, who played for the Cyclones from 2012-15, for the most individual tournament titles in program history. 

Additionally, it marked the third time that a Cyclone has on the Hawkeye Invitational since 2012. Nate McCoy (2012) and Ruben Sondjaja (2016) have won it previously.

Voke held the lead at the end of the first two rounds by two shots, but temporarily lost it when he went over par on the 10th and 11th holes. 

“I couldn’t believe it, it was something that put me in bad position,” Voke said. “It could have been worse. I knew I was playing strong enough to recover.”

Voke did rally back to stay par on the next four holes and then carded back-to-back birdies on holes 16 and 17, helping him hold off second place Hurly Long of Texas Tech (67-70-72)

Iowa State redshirt junior Denzel Ieremia (77-72-69) also fought up after a rough start. After scoring 77 and 72 in the first two rounds of competition, he rallied and scored a 69 in his last round. He finished the competition by jumping up 22 spots on the final day to tie for 21st place. 

He credits his patience in the third round for his rally.

“I think overall I did everything a touch slower,” Ieremia said, stating that his “nice and slow” attitude in the third round was not present on the first day.

Senior Ruben Sondjaja, 219 (75-70-74), tied for 26th, dropping five spots from his finish in the previous day. He shot over par in the back-nine. 

“I think this week wasn’t our best,” Sandjaja said. “I think these results will be good little adversity and preparation and a little extra motivation for Big 12 Championship.”

Freshman Sam Vincent scored a 226 (74-75-77), tying for 55th, along with fellow freshman Tripp Kinney, who tied for 59th, scoring 227 (76-75-76).

It was frustrating for some golfers, but the coaching staff preached taking shots and the course slowly. 

“We try to get our guys to stay in the moment, we try to focus on keeping it one shot at a time,” coach Chad Keohane said. 

Kinney was coming off a game-winning birdie in his last competition, but was unable to repeat success from the Seattle Redhawk Invitational.

But Voke continues his roll and now has his names etched in the program’s history books. His play will be crucial for Iowa State heading into the Big 12 Championship on April 24-26 in Hutchinson, Kansas. 

“The record doesn’t faze me too much,” Voke said. “It is nice to have this record. I play golf cause I like it.”