Tuesday Mashup

Sights, sounds and more from the long weekend related to the Iowa Hawkeyes….

James Vandenberg had a decent record against furry animals last year. While he was able to take down a wolverine, showed courage in gunning down panthers and made everyone happy when dispatched wild cats, he struggled with le gopher and mountain lions in the Nittany range.

It seems he is off to a good start this year. Check out the photo below (seen on twitter from @benson6)

It’s College Football Magazine season..or something like that. Lindy’s has Iowa 5th in the Legends. They likely won’t be picked to finish any higher than 4th in that division this year. It’s definitely going to be a ‘below the radar’ season for Iowa, but with a manageable (to downright easy) first half of the schedule, things will be interesting. Ferentz & Co are simply going to have to pull a rabbit out of their hat on the defensive side of the ball. We know that now, we knew that in January.

PGA golfer Zach Johnson is a big Iowa Hawkeye fan. The Cedar Rapids native and Drake alum won his 8th PGA tour event on Sunday, his second win at The Colonial. That article is from Mike Hlas and is full of Johnson goodness.

I love the sport and have always enjoyed following state of Iowa golfers when they have been in PGA events. There was Dave Rummels back in the 1980’s and an occasional Sean McCarty appearance in the 1990’s and a few US Open’s for Sean in the 2000’s. Both of those golfers are from West Branch, my hometown.

Johnson is having a fantastic career, one of the best careers a native Iowan has ever had on tour. The eight wins including a Masters title already puts him at or near the top of the list of Iowans on the PGA tour. He’s been on Ryder Cup teams. He’s one of the more popular golfers on tour among tour members and just one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He’s also off to the best start of his career for a single season.

He has played in 13 events this year and has four Top 10 finishes. He’s made all 13 cuts. He’s earned just over $3 million in prize money, he is 5th on the money list and 3rd in FedEx Cup point standings. He’s also firmly inside the Top Eight for this year’s Ryder Cup team. You can follow him on twitter @zachjohnsonpga and he regularly tweets and talks about the Hawkeyes in the fall and winter.

The Gazette has a write up on Jim Delany’s desire for each Big Ten team to play one out of conference game against a Pac 12 foe by 2017…and reiterates that the nine-game conference slate is scrapped. I am glad that nine-game thing is over for now, as the imbalance would prove to be unfair. Pac 12 coaches have complained against it for a number of years and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pull back to an eight game slate by 2017.

  • Jeffbuck7

    Johnson’s major win remains his identifying achievement and together with other factors mentioned by Jon, it makes him pretty clearly the greatest Iowan pro golfer. He’s a better player than Jack Fleck was, but Fleck will be remembered forever for beating Ben Hogan head to head in the 18-hole playoff of the (’55?) U.S. Open. No one else to mention with these two, which is kind of surprising.   

  • Jeffbuck7

    P.S. – I saw Jack Fleck play at the St. Paul Open in 1965. He could definitely play. I watched him hit an approach into the 18th green (my dad and I were up and behind the green). This was a ~90-yard wedge which he launched about quail-high (a much more common tactic on the tour in those days). It hit hot has h.e.l.l. a few feet right of the pin, bounded twice practically to the back of the green, then backed straight back to the pin. Stiff…. I remember a tall skinny middle-aged man with skin the color and texture of deeply burnt/cracked leather.   

  • HawkeyeShane

    Good stuff, Jeff…thanks for sharing that and good stuff once again from you, Jon.

  • DowsHawk

    Jack Rule from Humbolt I believe played on the tour and won at least once as I recall.  Tom Chapman out of Fort Dodge started on the both the Iowa golf and basketball teams.  Jim Jamison out of Moline finished 4th in the Masters one year if my old time memory serves me.  Zach is certainly the best ever. 

  • Hosorl

    A golf update?  What’s next Hawkeyenation…hockey?  soccer?   Mr. Demi Moore updates?  Jon, quit slackin’ and bring me some hawkeye news! 

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