Voke records second straight top-three finish, ISU men’s golf takes fourth at VCU


Sophomore golfer Nick Voke lines up a putt at practice on April 14. At the 2015 Gopher Invitational, Voke led the ISU men’s golf team by tying for 3rd place out of 81 golfers.

Mike Randleman

Another week, another top-10 finish.

Last year, Scott Fernandez graduated from the ISU men’s golf team as the king of top 10s, tallying 29 in his career for an ISU record.

After completion of the VCU Shootout on Tuesday, junior Nick Voke did his best Fernandez impression by tying for second place, notching his 10th career top-10 finish.

His high result at the CCV Tuckahoe Creek Course in Richmond, Va., was his second top-10, and more specifically, top-three, finish in as many weeks this season. His leadership has been crucial for a team adjusting from the losses of four-year starters Fernandez and Sam Daley.

“I see a lot of similarities, just a really good golf swing, really sharp with his irons,” junior Jack Carter said of Voke and Fernandez. “What’s helped him the most is he’s a very hard worker, very patient. It’s really exciting to see how much better he’s got in the past couple of years. He’s kind of taken the captain role and led us.”

Voke was the low Cyclone by 11 strokes and made 13 birdies on the week, but ISU coach Andrew Tank argued that Voke, who was ill up until competition began, still did not have his best stuff.

“I don’t think he had his best game, and he still had a really solid finish,” Tank said. “That’s a product of maturity.”

His teammates and coaches have noticed an invigoration in Voke’s practice habits, but part of the equation in his progression has been in his on-course demeanor.

“If things weren’t going my way, coach would say there’s like a little cloud lingering over me, a black cloud,” Voke said, motioning to the imaginary cloud. “I’d get down on myself and that’s a steep slope, very slippery. I was easily deterred from what I was trying to accomplish.”

Now, with a more lighthearted approach to match his intense work ethic, the top-20 and top-30 finishes have turned into top-fives and top-10s.

This week was more of the same, though with a five-under-par total of 211 — 71, 72 and 68 — the Auckland, New Zealand, native was never in close contention for medalist honors. Maryland’s Tom Harris ran away with a five-shot victory.

On the team side, Voke’s teammates were unable to join him near the top, which resulted in a fourth-place finish out of 13 teams for the Cyclones.

Junior Jack Carter was Iowa State’s next best bet for the week. Carter recorded his career-best finish with a tie for 30th place out of 83 golfers. A 78 in the final round dropped him down the leaderboard, but a preceding pair of 72-stroke rounds were reason for optimism.

“I had a first solid two rounds, just kind of played to my strengths,” Carter said. “I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens. I made a lot of pars, which was good. I had a little bit of a battle of it today, but I’m happy for Nick and I think that there are a lot of positive things to take from my game.”

Iowa State will next compete at the David Toms Invitational on Oct. 10 and 11 in Baton Rouge, La.