Men’s golf to face defending national champions at David Toms Intercollegiate


Then-junior Nick Voke practices his chipping Oct. 7, 2015, at the ISU golf facility. 

Mike Randleman

The Louisiana State men’s golf team has a new-look lineup for the 2015-2016 season but while many of the faces have changed, what will stick with the Tigers throughout the season is the most coveted title in collegiate golf: national champions.

Three starters have graduated from a team that surged at the end of the 2014-2015 season to defeat Southern California in the championship, but regardless of who is trotted out this weekend to compete at the David Toms Intercollegiate in Baton Rouge, La., the Tigers will have the attention of the ISU men’s golf team.

“They’ve been a great team every year we’ve gone down there,” said ISU coach Andrew Tank. “They’re a top-10 or 15 program. We’ll definitely be looking to see how we can do against them on their home course.”

Despite the courtesy paid to LSU from Tank, Iowa State has been a capable adversary to LSU when the two teams have clashed in competition.

LSU took the David Toms Intercollegiate title last season, but was defeated by Iowa State at the same event in 2013 and the two shared fourth place at the 2014 Columbia NCAA regional that sent both teams to nationals.

Junior Ruben Sondjaja, like Tank, sang the praises of LSU, but he also took away that perhaps his own team is not far off from similar postseason success.

“It was kind of like geez, we played in their tournament earlier in [2013] and they weren’t that good and now they’re in the match play,” Sondjaja said of their run to the match play quarterfinals. “Then seeing them win last year, it was crazy. We’ve competed with them a few times and it just shows we’re not too far off and you never know what can happen.”

This week, LSU is the biggest name in the field, but it is not the highest ranked of the 14 teams. 

No. 24 Liberty is the highest-ranked team in the field according to Golfweek and also features the highest-ranked individual in the field in No. 22 Isaiah Logue.

No. 31 Iowa is the next highest ranked team and LSU checks in at No. 40.

Iowa State’s Nick Voke is the second-highest ranked individual at No. 37 thanks to a third- and second-place finish in his two events this fall.

“I remember I had a decent start in my freshman year,” the junior Voke said of tying for seventh at the DTI in 2013. “This time last year I wasn’t playing too great and went down there and had a decent tournament. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but I’m pretty excited to get back down there and give it a go.”

Joining Voke in the starting lineup for No. 69 Iowa State are familiar faces of juniors Sondjaja and Jack Carter and redshirt senior Collin Foster, who have started in both events this season. Manning the fifth spot is freshman Conner Koberg, who will be making his first start.

The Cedar Rapids native has seen collegiate competition, however, as he competed as an individual at the VCU Shootout last month where he tied for 72nd place.

36 holes are scheduled for Saturday and 18 holes will close competition on Sunday from the University Club.