For the second time in Iowa men’s golf history, a Hawkeye has earned Big Ten Conference Player of the Year honors.
After capturing the best individual season in Hawkeye history, Iowa senior Vince India was given the honor on Monday. This comes not even a week after he already claimed the prestigous Lee Bolstad Trophy for recording the lowest stroke average during the season.
“This is the top golf award in our conference and Vince, without a doubt, deserves this award,” Iowa golf coach Mark Hankins said. “His individual season has been amazing and his consistency is a direct result of his tournament by tournament approach. I am proud of his progress and for him to see the much deserved accolades as a result of his work.”
India, a Deerfield, Illinois, native, was one of three Iowa golfers to earn all-conference honors this season. Joining India on the league’s first team was Brad Hopfinger. Chris Brant earned second-team honors.
“Brad has had an outstanding year with top finishes against the best individuals and teams in the country,” Hankins said. “He prepared well all season and gives you everything at each and every event.
“Chris continues to grow his golf skills and in his confidence to be the best,” Hankins said. “He has had a few breakout tournaments this season that are a direct result of his increased preparation and commitment to winning.”
It was the first time since 1992 that an Iowa golfer has earned all-conference honor, and only the second time that three Iowa golfers accomplished that feat in the same season. The other season Iowa landed three players on the team was 1992, the same season Brad Klapprott won Big Ten Conference Player of the Year.
India stroke average for the season was 71.08. He took home first place in three tournaments and was in the top 15 of all nine stroke play tournaments he played in this season. Of those nine tournament, he was in the top 10 in eight of them.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and our top notch season from start to finish,” Hankins added. “I challenged them at the end of last season and outlined the ways that you achieve such goals. They put in the hard work, competed each and every tournament and are now receiving deserved accolades.”
India and Hopfinger were joined on the first team by Scott Langley and Guthrie of Illinois, David Lipsky of Northwestern and Bo Hoag of Ohio State.
Brant, along with Chris DeForest of Illinois, David Erdy of Indiana, Lion Kim of Michigan, Donald constable of Minnesota and Brad Smith of Ohio State made up the second team.
Illinois’ Mike Small was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Purdue’s Adam Schenk was chosen as Big Ten Freshman of the Year.