Iowa golf gearing for the Thunderbird Invitational

BY KYLE MANN | APRIL 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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Iowa’s men’s golf team left on Wednesday, en route to Tempe, Arizona, for the Arizona State University Thunderbird Invitational.

The team will begin play Friday, and if history is to repeat itself, the Hawkeyes should fare fairly well.

The Hawkeyes were in second place after the first day of golf in the tournament last season, and despite falling to third on the second day, finished the tournament as runners-up. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, their driving force from that tournament will be on the green again this year.

Senior Brian Bullington posted a 206 (7-under) that weekend and finished in sole possession of third place, the best finish of his career to that point. Bullington is coming off of a moderate performance at the Schenkel Invitational in which he finished tied with teammate Raymond Knoll for 54th place, but he will be aided by other Iowa golfers playing well.

Junior Voramate Aussarassakorn and senior Ian Vandersee performed fairly well at Schenkel, once tied for sixth after the second day of play, before falling to 24th and 33rd, respectively.

Knoll and fellow sophomore Carson Schaake have had up-and-down performances in the young season, and in addition to — obviously, competing for the title — Iowa head coach Tyler Stith is hoping to see the Hawkeyes improve their games in several aspects.

Perhaps it is just a matter of freshly coming out of the winter season, but several of the Iowa golfers have struggled to start their rounds well before finding a groove. Additionally, Stith is hoping to see improved decision-making as his players work through a hole, and more crisp execution as they approach the green.

The Hawkeyes have had two weeks since their last competition, so it will be worth a look to see how much they’ve improved since spring sprung in Iowa City.

Follow @KyleFMann for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s golf team.

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