Iowa State will begin its third tournament of the spring season Monday morning in Bluffton, South Carolina. It will be playing at the Colleton River Collegiate for the third consecutive season.
This year's Colleton River Collegiate will be played on The Dye Experience course. The 7,400 yard course was designed by world-famous golf course designer Pete Dye. The course plays at a par of 72 and it's known for its small greens with well protected bunkers, while having a beautiful view of Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.
The field at the 2020 Colleton River Collegiate is a bit of relief for the Cyclones, as only seven of the other 14 teams are currently ranked in the top 100 of GolfStat's rankings. The highest ranked program will be Notre Dame who is currently 12th in the rankings.
Iowa State will be heading into this week's tournament with some momentum. At the Prestige at PGA West two weeks ago, it closed out playing some of its best golf of the season, shooting seven under par on the final day of the tournament.
Senior Tripp Kinney led the Cyclone's big day three, as he holed an eagle on the second hole of the day and answered with three more birdies on his first nine holes. While Kinney is playing he focuses on never getting too high or too low.
"Whether it's a good stretch or a bad stretch that I am having, there is not a whole lot that is changing in my mind," Kinney said.
Even when Iowa State's seasoned leader gets on his patented stretches of birdie after birdie, he doesn't let it affect him too much.
"It definitely helps for sure, but at the same time I am trying to stay as even keel as possible," Kinney said.
The Cyclones fed off Kinney's big start to the round, as the other four golfers recorded 11 birdies on their final nine holes. Junior Ricky Costello had three of his own and he was later able to realize what clicked for him and the rest of his team.
"We were really just patient throughout the whole tournament," Costello said. "We knew what we are capable of and we just trusted ourselves."
Despite the recent success, Iowa State has still struggled to consistently play at the level they did at final round of the Prestige throughout the spring season, but Costello is not too worried.
"I think all of the guys have really got in, and we have some things that we are working on and I think it's only gonna get better from here," Costello said.
Heading into this week's Colleton River Collegiate, Iowa State should be well prepared, as its team of upperclassmen have all played at this event multiple times in their career. Tripp Kinney is expecting an advantage over the rest of the field as he has played this course over 10 times in his amateur career.
"It's knowing where the misses are and the correct places to hit it in, it definitely helps quite a bit," Kinney said.
To kick of the tournament, the weather Monday morning in Bluffton, South Carolina, calls for 60 degree partly cloudy day with 11 mile per hour winds. This years Collegiate will last only two rounds, beginning Monday and lasting through Tuesday afternoon.