Men’s golf off to Dallas

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 05, 2010 7:30 AM

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After three weeks off, the Iowa men’s golf team is anxious to shake off the dust and get back outside.

The Hawkeyes are set to travel to Dallas for the third-annual Black and Gold Alumni Match.

Junior Brad Hopfinger and sophomore Chris Brant said last year’s trip was rewarding. Not only did the team enjoy the nice facilities, it benefited from practicing against former Hawkeye golfers.

“This is kind of a more laid-back trip than others, but it will be good to play a lot of golf in the warmer weather,” Hopfinger said. “There are no other teams there. We’re just playing.”

Hosted by two UI alumni, the event also allows the Hawkeyes to play on some of the most elite golf courses in Texas, including the Dallas Country Club.

And even though no other teams will participate in the event, sophomore Brad George said, that doesn’t mean the weekend isn’t significant to the Hawkeyes’ development.

“We’re going to have a lot of qualifying going on, so it’s going to be really competitive,” George said. “I mean it’ll be a fun trip at the same time but definitely competitive as well.”

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The Hawkeyes’ lone freshman, Ryan Marks, sees his début at the event as an opportunity to prove his ability and potentially earn one of the five seats on the plane to Arizona when Iowa competes in the Callaway Collegiate Match-Play Tournament on March 21-23.

“This is qualifying for me and James [Reiss] for spring break,” he said. “I just want to play as well as I can and not get too down on myself. I have to realize I haven’t played too much. I can’t let a bad shot here or there affect what I do next.”

The Dallas trip marks the start of an eventful month for the Hawkeyes. After the Callaway event, Iowa will head to the Spring Break Invitational on March 26-28 in Boca Raton, Fla.

George said his teammates are anxious and physically ready to go.

“We’ve been working out every day,” he said. “The yoga and everything is keeping us really stretched and loose, so we’re definitely physically ready.”

— by Jessie Smith

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