Iowa State men’s, women’s golf compete at NCAA championships


Both Iowa State men’s and women’s golf teams made it to the NCAA Championship rounds this month setting new records and accomplishing some tremendous achievements.

The women made it to their first-ever NCAA national tournament appearance. They finished 23rd in the event out of 24 teams after 72 holes of golf, the same number as their national ranking.

After shaking off the nervousness in the opening rounds, three players on the Cyclones had their best rounds on the final day. Chonlada Chayanun had a great tournament overall, carding rounds of 72-69-69-72 to finish with 282 strokes, which tied for seventh nationally.

That finish gives her an automatic spot on the WGCA Honorable Mention All-America team, the first time that’s happened since 1980.

As the women’s team finally breaks through, the men’s team continues to improve and will only get better. They made their NCAA Championship for the first time since 1953.

Weather plagued the event and played a role in some of Iowa State’s struggles down the stretch by moving their rounds all over the place, but head coach Andrew Tank also mentioned that a lot of it was mistakes (via the Cyclones official website).

"“With all of the delays it really was a test in patience,” Iowa State head coach Andrew Tank said. “More than anything, it was grueling both physically and mentally. It was certainly less than ideal.”“The weather was actually perfect this morning,” Tank added. “We just made too many mistakes. We played poorly the last two rounds. We had a few bright spots, but overall it was not our best golf.”"

Iowa State finished at 25th out of 30 teams in the rain-shortened three-round event. They actually carded 278 as a team in the first round and finished near the top of the list overall. Unfortunately, rounds of 299 and 294 in the consecutive rounds brought their total score down.

Both standout players on the team, Sam Daley and Scott Fernandez, also finished the best at the tournament. Daley carded a 69-71-74 over the weekend to finish at 214 strokes, good for a tie at 55th. Fernandez finished three strokes higher to finish at a tie for 82nd.

While both teams would have obviously liked a better outcome at the championships themselves, this was great experience for both squads that haven’t seen competition at this level. It’s a great achievement for Cyclone athletics as they continue to grow and get better in every athletic sport.

Plus, it’s incredibly hard to do something like this in Iowa, where the weather is unfavorable for golf until near the summer. And who knows, sometimes it still even likes to snow in May.

Congratulations to both teams for spectacular seasons in golf.