2 Hawk golfers in U.S. Amateur

BY DI STAFF | AUGUST 22, 2011 7:20 AM

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Two Hawkeye golfers will start competition today at the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship in Wisconsin.

Senior Jed Dirksen is scheduled to tee off at 7:40 a.m., and redshirt freshman Ian Vandersee will start at 1:25 p.m.

Both golfers have played in the U.S. Amateur Championship in recent years. Vandersee qualified for the event in 2009 and qualified again this year by shooting 5-under at the two-day qualifier in early August.

Dirksen will try to improve upon his performance at last year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, when he reached the quarterfinals — a result that earned him an exemption for the 2011 edition of the tournament.

The format of the event, which will end Aug. 28, calls for stroke play through the first two rounds and match play for the final 64 golfers.  

A pair of courses will play host to the weeklong tournament. Dirksen will take his first swings at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club, and Vandersee will see action today at Erin Hills. Approximately 30 miles separate the two courses.  

For the second-straight year, the U.S. Amateur will see the longest course in U.S. Golf Association history. Erin Hills measures 7,760 yards, breaking last year’s record of 7,742 yards at Chambers Bay in Tacoma, Wash.

Former Hawkeye Vince India will also play in the event. India, a senior on last year’s team, will tee off at 1:45 p.m.

The pair of current Hawkeyes will rejoin their teammates next week and begin preparing for the first meet of the year, in mid-September. Head coach Mark Hankins will lead his squad to Minneapolis for the Golden Gopher Invitational Sept. 11-12.

— by Ben Schuff

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