ISU men’s golf eyes familiar foe at VCU Shootout


Photo: Andrew Clawson/Iowa State

Head coach Andrew Tank said that this is a great opportunity for the sport to grow on a world-wide level.

Mike Randleman

The ISU men’s golf team’s next tournament is the Virginia Commonwealth Shootout, but based off recent history it may as well be named after Virginia Tech. 

On Sept. 21-22, Iowa State will set out to break Virginia Tech’s streak of three consecutive team wins at this event where the Hokies have won by a combined 53 strokes.

“I’m pretty sure Virginia Tech’s won it every year that we’ve played,” said ISU men’s golf coach Andrew Tank.

Tank’s assessment was slightly off as Virginia Tech missed out on titles in 2010 and 2011 when Iowa State first added the tournament, but with Tech’s recent string of success in narrowly edging out Iowa State, it’s easy to forget a time where the Hokies missed out on taking the title.

Iowa State can take consolation in two runner-up finishes in the past two seasons, including Nick Voke grabbing medalist honors in 2014.

With much of Virginia Tech’s and Iowa State’s lineups gutted from the previous seasons and a new course this year in CCV Tuckahoe Creek, the chance for a new team victor appears as likely as ever this week.

Five other teams from the top 100 in the final 2014-2015 Golfstat rankings will also be in the field in Richmond, Va., including No. 62 East Carolina, which features the highest-ranked player from the final ’14-’15 Golfstat rankings in No. 96 Wesley Conover.

Virginia Tech and Iowa State came in at No. 43 and No. 45, respectively.

Iowa State, Maryland and Virginia Tech are the only three schools from power conferences in a field of 10 teams that is weaker on paper than the Gopher Invitational that featured traditional NCAA Tournament stalwarts like Minnesota, Southern Methodist, Oklahoma and Baylor.

Iowa State is facing a relatively quick turnaround after competing at the aforementioned Gopher Invitational on Sept. 13 and 14.

The Cyclones got off to a hot start in round one in Minnesota by leading the team competition and Nick Voke leading the medalist race, but a trying second and third rounds dropped Iowa State and Voke to a tie for ninth and a tie for third, respectively.

“It showed that… some of the young guys and Nick, Ruben and I can step up and compete with the best,” said junior Jack Carter of the team’s performance. “That was really positive. We didn’t get it done like we wanted to, but the first couple rounds we showed some good signs.”

Ten more regular season tournaments still remain on the schedule for Iowa State and little to no panic has set in after an inconsistent start.

“It’s a long season and there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs throughout the year,” Tank said. “It doesn’t change anything, but it certainly gives us a good idea of what we need to work on for the short term.”

Iowa State will use the same lineup with last week in starting freshman Jon Hudson; juniors Jack Carter, Ruben Sondjaja and Nick Voke; and redshirt senior Collin Foster.

Freshman Conner Koberg, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be making his collegiate debut as an individual.

In rounds one and two on Monday, Iowa State will compete alongside Virginia Commonwealth and James Madison beginning at 8:45 a.m.