NIU Men's Golf Takes Third at Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational
April 17, 2011
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Northern Illinois men's golf team weathered another blustery day at Delaware Country Club to take third place at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational.
The Huskies outplayed host and eventual champion Ball State in the third round, putting up a 375 against the Cardinals' 378 on the Muncie course. It was NIU's other playing partner, Bowling Green, that shot the best team score of the day with a 368 to wrestle away sole possession of second place from the Huskies. NIU settled for a spring-best third place finish, three strokes better than fourth place Marshall.
The team placed four players inside the top-20 for the first time since they won the 2008 Davidson Invitational. Redshirt senior Andrew Frame and sophomore Bryce Emory maintained their second-round tie for fifth to lead the way on Sunday. Frame's eighth career top-10 finish ended a two-and-a-half year drought since his last, which came at that very same 2008 Davidson Invitational after a final-round 72. The veteran made a charge at the individual title on the front nine, dropping birdies on four of the first seven holes. The conditions caught up with him on the back, however, as he gave five back to Delaware Country Club en route to his two-over score.
"It was another tough day, with winds just as strong as yesterday," said NIU head coach Tom Porten. "We got a great early start from Andrew Frame; four birdies in six holes got us going. Jeff [Dick], Shawn [Foley] and Kurtis [Luedtke] struggled today, which probably kept us from scoring better. Hats off to Ball State for the win. They did a good job."
Emory completed his best tournament as a Huskie with his two-over 72. The Marmion Academy graduate overcame an early double bogey on the second hole and proceeded to play even-par golf the rest of the way. Emory's finish easily outdistanced his previous best finish, a tie for 27th at the 2010 D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate. His performance over the weekend is a culmination of consistent progress over this 2010-11 season, and comes at a pivotal time with the Mid-American Conference Championships looming two weeks away.
"I'm pleased with the results, though," Porten said. "The emergence of Emory was great. He played as well as anybody on the course today. It was a real nice tournament for Andrew Frame, too. At one point, with three holes to go, he was within two strokes. I saw real good progress from Andrew, Griffin [Bauman] and Bryce."
Redshirt sophomore Griffin Bauman added a third 72 to the Huskie effort today that vaulted him up to a tie for 15th. It was Bauman's third career top-20, and first since last spring's Branson Creek Invitational. The Crystal Lake product's game is peaking, like Emory's, at the right time in the schedule.
Senior Jeff Dick secured his second-straight top 20 and handily beat his previous-best 30th-place performance at this event. The Texan clung to a two-over round until a less-than-stellar final five holes, shooting a 78. However, the score was good enough on this windy April afternoon to sneak away with a tie for 20th.
"Going into Purdue next week off our best finish of the spring, I'm looking forward to it," said Porten. "We need to work hard this week on our drives. We didn't hit as many fairways as I would've liked to see this weekend. Purdue is pretty narrow and tight. All in all, progress is slow but steady."
Deep in the home stretch of their 2010-11 campaign, the Huskies will return to action at Purdue's Boilermaker Invitational on Saturday, April 23rd to tune up for the upcoming MAC Championships.
Huskie Team Scoring
3. Northern Illinois, +70 (370-375-375 -- 1120)
Huskie Individual Standings
T5. Bryce Emory, +7 (77-68-72 -- 217)
T5. Andrew Frame, +7 (69-76-72 -- 217)
T15. Griffin Bauman, +14 (74-78-72 -- 224)
T20. Jeff Dick, +16 (72-76-78 -- 226)
T72. Kurtis Luedtke, +29 (78-77-84 -- 239)
T76. Shawn Foley, +31 (80-80-81 -- 241)
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