Daley Gaining Confidence
AMES, Iowa – Junior Iowa State golfer Sam Daley made history over the weekend. The Wynnum, Australia native produced the best finish of his ISU career by earning runner-up medalist honors at the 2014 Big 12 Championship. But more importantly, it was the best-ever finish by a Cyclone in the history of the Big 12 Tournament (1997-2014).
Daley put on quite a show on the tough Whispering Pines layout, posting a 2-under, 72-hole 286 tally en route to a second-place finish in one of the nation’s toughest golf alliances. Daley fired rounds of 72-74-69-71, defeating 11 players ranked in the nation’s top-100 along the way.
To put Daley’s performance in better perspective it was the best showing by a Cyclone in a conference meet since Dan Molyneaux won the Big Seven Conference Tournament in 1953. Daley’s second-round 69 was also just the sixth sub-70 round ever recorded by a Cyclone in a conference meet.
Daley’s confidence is at an all-time high.
“It was great to play well there,” Daley said. “I really felt I was hitting the ball well and playing better heading into the tournament. I knew if I stick to my game plan I was going to have a good week. I have played the course before and I enjoy the course. Our team is moving in the right direction and hopefully we can keep it going into the postseason.”
Daley’s strong showing over the weekend shouldn’t come as a shock. He’s quietly recorded a fantastic season, ranking third on the team in stroke average at 72.72, which is on pace to be one of the best in school history.
Behind Daley’s performance, the Cyclones as a team placed fourth at the Big 12 Championship, the second-best finish in Big 12 Conference history. Freshmen Nick Voke and Ruben Sondjaja joined Daley on the All-Tournament team, tying for ninth to give the Cyclones three of their six individual top-10 performances in the 18-year history of the Big 12 Championship.
The Cyclones will boast one of their better teams heading into the NCAA Regional. The announcement of where they will be playing is on Monday, and head coach Andrew Tank is pleased with his team’s progress.
“We took a big step forward as a team last weekend,” Tank said. “It was just a real solid performance and it will give us some good momentum heading into the postseason. Sam had a great tournament. He was really steady for 72 holes and made some big putts when it counted. He has improved so much in his three years at Iowa State and has taken his game to a new level this year.”
The NCAA men’s golf Regional selections will be announced live on the Golf Channel on Monday, May 5 at 9 a.m. CT.