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B1G coaches praise Iowa men's golf

BY BEN SCHUFF | OCTOBER 18, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Daily Iowan spoke with three Big Ten head men's golf coaches to see what impressions Iowa has made.

Penn State head coach Greg Nye

"They have a couple strong players [Chris Brant and Barrett Kelpin] at the top at the Minnesota tournament — if you just look at the results, those are some seasoned players that are continuing to play well. [Iowa head coach] Mark [Hankins] has a couple young guys who are coming along.

"I guess my impression is they're off to a good start again this year … to be doing that well after graduating [Vince India and Brad Hopfinger] is certainly noticeable … It's impressive to me that you can replace those two guys and be off and running again."

Wisconsin head coach Michael Burcin

"It's really a big adjustment in many different ways. Not only what you can expect from kids in that position to shoot; you know Vince India is going to get you a 68 to 74 every time out, so that's kind of the obvious, and that's what people see on the exterior.

"But there's a lot more that goes into that from a maintenance standpoint. There's a lot more time spent with younger kids and trying to get them to buy into your system and what you're trying to do. [There's] probably a lot more of Coach Hankins' time on the golf course at the tournament that he is spending with the younger kids — where[as] a Vince or [Brad Hopfinger], you can for the most part just turn them loose once you get them to the golf course. They're sharp enough and they're experienced enough where you don't have to worry about them a whole lot.

"So it's a big change; not only is it a pure score, but you're shifting your time spent where you probably wouldn't have spent as much time worrying about kids in that same position in the past."

Michigan head coach Chris Whitten

"I just happen to be walking with one of the Michigan players who was playing with Steven [Ihm at the Rod Myers Invitational], and I only saw him for around 12 holes, but he has a really mature game and a really good demeanor out on the course.

"I've never met Steven before, but I could tell he is going to be a really good player right away.

"He got the most out of his shots. Golf is sometimes a game of misses, and Steven's good shots were obviously really good, but some of his bad shots were still very playable, and then he did a good job of making the best score out of whatever shots he happened to hit. He just managed what he had very well.

"Sometimes the guys with less experience can get frustrated real quickly after a bad shot, but Steven just stuck with it and did a nice job."

"It's still really early — our team has only played three tournaments, and I don't know how many Iowa has played — but to say they're a top-three team, I don't think many people would argue with that. They may be better."


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