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Iowa men's golfers to face many firsts in Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational

BY TOMMY REINKING | OCTOBER 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational, hosted by Ball State University at Delaware Country Club in Muncie, Ind., will be a new experience for two Iowa men’s golfers.

Freshmen Voramate Aussarassakorn and Nate Yankovich will take part in their first Division-I tournament when they tee off at 8:30 a.m. today. They will be joined by freshman Landon Kowalski in the two-day event.

The invitational will feature 47 players from nine universities, but none will compete as a team. For the first time in the tournament’s 37-year history, all golfers will play as individuals.

Assistant coach Dan Holterhaus, who golfed for Iowa from 2003-08, said he expects the Hawkeyes athletes to feel some nerves.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re nervous, but that’s a good thing,” he said. “They’ll need to find a way to relax and be confident in their shots. Finding a rhythm will be very important.”

Aussarassakorn and Yankovich won’t be the only ones experiencing something new when the action starts. Holterhaus will be alone in coaching the Hawks for the first time as head coach Mark Hankins was with the rest of the team at the Rod Myers Invitational this past weekend.

Holterhaus, who has been with the team for only nine months, said Hankins has set a coaching precedent that he plans to follow.

“I’ve traveled to a few events and have seen how Hankins coaches,” he said. “I’ll try my best to follow in his footsteps. The guys will be prepared.”

Kowalski is the only one of the three Hawks who has competed this season. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native took part in Iowa’s first tournament of the year, the Golden Gopher Invitational, on Sept. 9-10. He tied for 61st place individually with a 23 over three-round total.

Yankovich hasn’t competed in a tournament of any kind since the Columbus District Golf Association Amateur Championship on July 23-26, in which he finished second. He has high expectations entering his first D-I contest.

“My goal is to win,” he said. “I haven’t played in a while, but it will be nice to get my feet wet. I’ve been working a lot on my short game and chipping technique to get ready.”

Hankins said that while the three Iowa golfers may lack experience, they will have the advantage of playing on a course similar to Finkbine.

“It’s a Midwestern style golf course,” he said. “So, obviously, we’re going to feel really comfortable out there. I expect all three of them to play well, and hopefully, they can all get themselves a top-20 finish.”


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