2013-14 Men's Golf Preview
AMES, Iowa –Iowa State head men’s golf coach Andrew Tank, now in his fourth season with the Cyclones, continues to improve the program in his short time in Ames.
In just his second year, the Cyclones ended a 13-year postseason drought by earning a berth in a NCAA Regional in 2012. He has mentored Nate McCoy, one of the most accomplished golfers in school history, and Scott Fernandez, who produced one of the greatest seasons in school history (2012) and will likely go down as the greatest golfers in program history.
Fernandez is one of the many reasons Tank is optimistic about the 2013-14 season, which begins this weekend at the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., Sept. 8-9.
“I feel like this is our most complete team that I’ve had in my four years here,” Tank said. “We have depth, we have strong leaders with experience returning, and I think our newcomers are really going to make an impact right away. With the players we have and the addition of our new facility, it’s certainly reasonable to expect to make it to the Regionals and our goal is to advance to nationals.”
This past season, Fernandez took over McCoy’s spot and posted top-10 performances in eight of the 10 tournaments he played in. The junior earned second-team All-America honors, made the Palmer Cup and shattered virtually every school record, including the season stroke average mark at 71.27.
Fernandez, the 2013 ISU Male Athlete of the Year, represented ISU as an individual in a NCAA Regional, one of just five Cyclones in the history of the program to do so.
The Granada, Spain native maintained his torrid play in the summer when he finished third in the European Amateur and barely missed out on the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur.
“Scott Fernandez has put our program on the map, not just in the United States, but worldwide by his accolades and performances,” Tank said. “It’s great to see the attention he has received from his outstanding play.”
There is no doubt Fernandez will be considered one of the best players in the nation in 2013-14. Tank will certainly rely on his All-American to lead the team, but he will also have a sound supporting cast to help him out.
Junior Sam Daley has been a staple in the Cyclone lineup in his first two seasons and will likely be one of the top performers on the team this year. Daley was second on the team in stroke average a year ago at 75.13 after posting a 74.28 scoring mark as a rookie, the third-best average among all ISU freshmen in the history of the program.
Other Cyclones returning who saw action last year are Duncan Croudis (Sr.), Zach Steffen (Sr.), Blake Waller (Jr.) and Collin Foster (So.). All four will fight for spots in the lineup this year.
Tank is also excited about an excellent crop of freshmen who will make their Cyclone debuts this fall. Ruben Sondjaja (Sydney, Australia), Nick Voke (Auckland, New Zealand) and Jack Carter (Columbus, Ohio) will figure prominently in ISU’s fortunes in 2013-14. In just his first week in the U.S., Voke tied for seventh at the Iowa Open.
It's an exciting time for Iowa State men's golf. A brand new state-of-the-art performance facility will debut this season, offering the program one of the finest facilities of its kind nationally.
“The new facility is a game-changer,” Tank said. “It affects so many aspects of our program, from recruiting to preparation and the overall culture and team environment surrounding our program. Everything has changed now by having our own facility with such high quality.”