ISU men’s golf rolling after back-to-back tournament wins


Richard Martinez / Iowa State Daily

Nick Voke, right, freshman from Auckland, New Zealand, goes through practice shots as the Iowa State men’s golf team begins to prepare for upcoming tournaments. 

Jack Bluhm

As the Iowa State men’s golf team grouped together for a team picture, the players and coaches’ smiles stretched from ear to ear.

The Cyclones had just won the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. The tournament held in Tempe, Ariz., was not just a special win for the Cyclones because they beat nationally ranked teams such as the tournaments host team No. 5 Arizona State, No. 19 California, No. 22 San Diego State and in-state rival Iowa. But this victory was also the second straight tournament win for the men’s golf team.

The men’s golf team was also able to claim the Desert Shootout title held in Goodyear, Ariz., back in early March. During this tournament, the Cyclones easily came in ahead of the second place finisher, No. 42 Kansas, by eight strokes and fired an 823 for the tournament, which is now the school record for a 54-hole match.

This new school record shattered the previous 54-hole record by 14 shots.

Head coach Andrew Tank credits the hard work the players have been putting on during practice for their recent success.

“The boys have been playing well and have had really good attitudes during this stretch,” Tank said. “The culmination of hard work has really shown over these past two tournaments. The best part is that these victories have been a team effort and not just one guy has had to step up.

“All five of the players have stepped up, and that’s what you need in college golf in order to win.”

Over the past two tournaments, the Cyclones have had at least three players finish in the top-11. One of those players is redshirt sophomore Denzel Ieremia.

Ieremia finished third overall at the Desert Shootout and finished sixth at the Thunderbird Invitational and said that this winning streak is something he is really proud of.

“The most exciting part of this streak we are on is the collective feeling you get when you win as a team,” Ieremia said. “For example, my team won nationals back home in New Zealand and I thought that feeling was incredible. Now that we have won two in row and are starting to play well especially after our rough start in the fall and early spring the feeling is comparable.

“It makes it almost even better cause I get to win with such a great group of guys.”

Along with Ieremia finishing in the top 10 over the last two matches, junior Nick Voke was also right by his side.

Voke finished 10th at the Desert Shootout and second at the Thunderbird Invitational. With Voke being one of the more experienced leaders on the team, he knows the team has to stay focused to keep its hot streak going.

“We’re just going to have to continue to play good golf to keep it simple and stay by the name of the game,” Voke said. “We know that we are going to have some good rounds and some bad rounds but we just have to take it one week at time.

“We’ve finally started to play to where we have an opportunity to make it to the postseason, which was our goal so it’s vital that we stay focused and prepare the way I know we can because the sky’s the limit.”