The Iowa State men’s golf team is back in action Friday and Saturday at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona.
They last competed in the event in 2019, as it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cyclones are coming off a 10th-place finish at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Tournament in Awendaw, South Carolina. After sitting in 14th out of 16 teams following round one, the team put up scores of 290 and 285 in the second and third rounds to improve their final position.
This improvement stuck out to Head Coach Andrew Tank, who was encouraged by the progress the team made.
“We’re building some momentum, and the guys have been continuing to increase their work ethic," Tank said. “I definitely feel like we’re on an upward trend, and we really want to set the tone at this event by getting off to a good start and picking up where we left off.”
Tripp Kinney and Lachlan Barker have been consistent performers for the Cyclones, but it was Frank Lindwall who popped off the scoresheet in the last event. Lindwall registered his best finish this spring, tying for 23rd at the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
Tank sees Lindwall’s play as a huge boost to the team and believes it is something he can replicate in the future.
“That’s something Frank has been working hard at," Tank said. “He’s certainly capable of that type of play, so it’s nice to see him put three good rounds on the board. It’s definitely a game-changer for us as a team.”
The Cyclones will once again be up against tough competition, with eight of the 16 teams participating in the Thunderbird Invitational sitting in the top 35 of the Golfstat rankings.
The complete list, with Golfstat rankings, includes: Oklahoma State (3), Arizona State (12), North Carolina (16), Arizona (20), Texas Tech (26), South Florida (29), New Mexico (31), Baylor (32), Ohio State (55), TCU (62), Oregon State (65), Utah (73), UNLV (80), Iowa State (83), Colorado State (87) and UCLA (102).
With Big 12 Championship play starting April 26, Tank hopes to keep building momentum at the Thunderbird Invitational.
“I think having a good first round would be something I’d like to see," Tank said. “Just getting off to a good start and not putting ourselves so far behind. That’s definitely something we’ve been talking about and working toward. All five of the guys have have been working on their games to see signs of continued progress and keep building on the momentum that we’re developing."
Rounds one and two are being played Friday, with round three taking place Saturday.