Photo/the following press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. – The Iowa State men’s golf team posted a 297 in the third round at the NCAA Championships this afternoon at Rich Harvest Farms.
The Cyclones ended the tournament with a 54-hole 875 total, falling just four strokes shy of the third round, 15-team cut in a tie for 18th place.
ISU’s top-20 finish at nationals is the best by a Cyclone team in the modern era.
Making the 15-team cut after 54 holes would have been an incredible accomplishment for the Cyclones, who were the 29thseed in the tournament.
Despite missing out on another day of play, Iowa State head coach Andrew Tank reflected on his team’s historic top-20 finish at the NCAA Championship.
“It’s a great accomplishment for us to finish in the top-20 at the NCAA finals,” Tank said. “We came up a little short today because we were hoping to continue our stay here a little longer. But when you step back and look at what we accomplished this year, and what the guys have done on and off the golf course, I just feel real good about where the program is headed.”
Despite their elimination in the team competition at the NCAA Championships, there will be a Cyclone playing tomorrow in junior Denzel Ieremia.
Ieremia is one of nine individuals not among the 15 teams advancing who will compete in the medalist race on the final day of stroke play on Monday.
The Hamilton, New Zealand, native fired a third-round 71 (1-under) this afternoon to improve to 2-under for the tournament at 214. That total tied for 31st overall, but it also tied for the fifth-best individual score from a competitor not on a top-15 team.
Ieremia will live another day thanks to his uncanny scrambling ability this afternoon. He only had two birdies, but he strung together a slew of pars and only one bogey. Multiple times throughout the round the junior found ways to escape danger with his ability to get up and down.
The most impressive save came on No. 8 when he was plugged in the side lip of the greenside bunker. Ieremia blasted his ball with one leg outside the hazard to two feet to record the sand save.
“Denzel is going to be our leader next year and he is playing well,” Tank said. “He was bogey-free for 17 holes today, which is really impressive. I am excited for him to get another opportunity tomorrow in the final round.”
True freshman Tripp Kinney carded a 73 this afternoon to finish the tournament in a tie for 76th place at 221. After opening the round with a bogey, he was even par for the rest of the day.
Senior Ruben Sondjaja wrapped up his career by tying for 76th at 221. His second-round 68 was the best score of the tournament by a Cyclone.
Sondjaja ended his brilliant career with 12 career top-10 finishes and the third-best career stroke average in school history (72.78).
Nick Voke finished the tournament in a tie for 95th at 223.
Voke will go down as one of the greatest players in school history, owning school records in career victories (five) and stroke average (71.89).
“The hardest part of today has been saying goodbye to these guys (Voke and Sondjaja),” Tank said. “Knowing that the journey we had with them is over is sad. They brought our program to new heights in their four years here. They have been great leaders and it was really hard and emotional knowing this was the last time they were going to be playing as Cyclones.”
1. Vanderbilt 278-288-280=846
2. Oklahoma 284-279-284=847
5. Illinois 282-283-285=850
6. Oklahoma State 282-287-283=852
7. Baylor 288-280-287=855
9. Auburn 282-284-290=856
10. LSU 291-277-290=858
11. Texas 293-283-283=859
12. Florida State 289-285-286=860
13. Oregon 294-282-289=865
14. Pepperdine 289-293-287=869
15. UCF 294-284-293=871
16. Arizona State 290-293-289=872
17. Alabama 287-293-293=873
18. Iowa State 293-285-297=875
North Carolina 293-287-295=875
20. Stanford 293-287-299=879
21. Kent State 289-293-299=881
22. Duke 298-292-298=888
24. Penn State 301-294-296=891
25. Lipscomb 300-291-300=891
26. Jacksonville 294-296-302=892
New Mexico 297-295-300=892
28. Purdue 298-295-309=902
29. Kennesaw State 297-300-307=904
30. Clemson 313-285-307=905
Iowa State Scores
T31. Denzel Ieremia 73-70-71=214
T76. Ruben Sondjaja 75-68-78=221
T76. Tripp Kinney 73-75-73=221
T95. Nick Voke 76-72-75=223
T146. Sam Vincent 72-81-81=234