Iowa Men’s Golf Ready for Minnesota Road Trip for Gopher Invitational


The three-round tournament will be played Sunday and Monday at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minnesota.

Hannah kinson

Mac McClear of Iowa leads the ball during the Hawkeye Invitational Men’s Golf Tournament on Saturday April 17, 2021 at Finkbine Golf Course.

Throughout his youth, Ian Meyer spent long afternoons working on his game on the course and on the course at Windsong Farm Golf Club in Independence, Minnesota.

Now, Hawkeye’s first student will welcome the rest of his Iowa teammates to his home class, as that will be the site of the University of Minnesota’s Gopher Invitational this week.

A native of Deephaven, Minnesota, Meyer said his knowledge of the course would come in handy on Sunday and Monday. Selecting all high school conferences three times said his experience on the course in the past would help him pick lines for his tee shots as well as read the greens.

Meyer officially donned the Black and Gold for the first time in his career last week at the Marquette Invitational at the Erin Hills Golf Course in Hartford, Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were ninth in the 17-team event and Meyer placed 59th as an individual.

Although Erin Hills hosted the 2017 US Open, Meyer believes Windsong could give the Hawkeyes a more difficult test.

“I think [Windsong] could play a little harder, ”Meyer said. “It’s a very similar setup where it’s pretty wide open. The fescue is a bit thicker, so [the fairways] maybe a little tighter. But on the whole, the courses are at the same time wide, wide fairways, large greens. But I think the scores at Windsong will be a bit higher than at Erin Hills.

Like Meyer, Hawkeye head coach Tyler Stith is excited to take his team to Windsong. Prior to being named Iowa’s head coach, he was a Minnesota personnel assistant from 2011-2014. So Stith is quite familiar with Windsong.

“It always helps to go to places where you are comfortable,” Stith said. “A big part of this game is trust and commitment. Playing a spot multiple times, it gives you confidence with your club selection on the tees, the lines you need to take, helps you with your green reading. So having this experience is a huge advantage.

The Hawkeyes enter the 2021 Gopher Invitational with some momentum, as they totaled 48 birdies and four Eagles en route to a team score of 8 under par at the Marquette Invitational.

Stith said the Hawkeyes can improve their performance last week by making more disciplined decisions on the golf course.

“Our decision making was not the best at times,” Stith said. “I think we made choices that led to some big numbers. Go to a place you’re used to [like Widsong] definitely helps with your strategy and what you do when you get into trouble. Just being able to recover and maybe bogey and pass instead of doubling or tripling.

The top four spots in the Hawkeyes roster will be occupied by senior Gonzalo Leal Montero, juniors Mac McClar and Ronan Kleu, and Meyer. Senior Jake Rowe, junior Garrett Tighe and second student Callum Macfie are all battling for the fifth and final spot on the Iowa Travelers List.

After the Gopher Invitational, Iowa will take a two-week break before heading to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Classic.

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