April 19, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Northern Illinois University men’s golf team recorded its best round of the season with a second round 296 on Saturday at the Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Golf Course. Freshman Jake Curwin (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) led the way for the Huskies with a two-round total of 146, tied for 12th individually, as the Huskies also enter Sunday’s final round tied for 12th in the team standings.
Curwin opened with a morning round of 76 before carding an afternoon round of 70, his best round as a Huskie, to move up 26 places in the individual standings into a tie for 12th. Curwin, who began his rounds on the 17th hole, opened his second round with a bogey, moved to two-under with three-straight birdies on holes 4-6. After getting to three-under with a birdie on the par-four 14th, Curwin gave back a stroke on the 15th to close with a 70.
“I’ve been saying for quite a while that the learning curve has been slow, but we made real progress today, especially on the front end with Jake (Curwin) and Liam (White),” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “Liam played a wonderful round this morning and Jake had 22 putts and just two bogies (in the afternoon) and is knocking on the door of his first top-10.
“This morning, we played the par threes beautifully as a team and missed some real opportunities on the par fives. This afternoon, we came back and continued to play the par threes well, but couldn’t make as many birdies.”
Junior Liam White (Waukegan, Ill./Carmel Catholic/Indian Hills CC) is tied for 20th following Saturday’s opening 36 holes with a four-over total of 148. White posted an even-par round of 72 in the morning, carding four birdies, including two on par threes. An afternoon round of 76 gave White a top-20 spot heading into the final round.
Illinois leads the overall team standings with a five-over par 581, five strokes ahead of second-place Louisville. Stuart MacDonald of host Purdue holds the individual lead at three-under 141, one stroke ahead of Ohio State’s Boo Timko.
Following a tough opening round of 80, freshman Raphael Denais (Saint-Aventin, France/Lycee Ste Ursule) rebounded with an even-par 72 in the afternoon, moving up 29 spots into a tie for 46th. Denais had a steady afternoon 18 holes that included three birdies and 12 pars as he hit all 18 greens in regulation.
“It was a hard golf course today; the greens were really firm and pretty fast,” said Porten. “I thought we handled a lot of the short game shots much better than we have in past events. We putted it much better. We still had too many three putts, but they are starting to get the nerve and confidence to make birdies and par saves to keep rounds going, things that good teams do on a regular basis. We aren’t there yet, but we are making positive steps in the right direction.”
Sunday’s final round will begin at 7:45 a.m. CT, 8:45 a.m. local time, with a shotgun start. The Huskies will be paired with Toledo and Drake.
1. Illinois, +5, 291-290 -- 581
2. Louisville, +10, 295-291 -- 586
3. UCLA, +12, 297-291 -- 588
4. Iowa, +15, 300-291 -- 591
5. Northwestern, +16, 296-296 -- 592
6. Wichita State, +17, 299-294 -- 593
7. Ohio State, +19, 304-291 -- 595
T8. Michigan State, +20, 301-295 -- 596
T8. Indiana, +20, 301-295 -- 596
10. Purdue, +21, 298-299 -- 597
11. Kent State, +22, 298-300 -- 598
T12. Miami (Ohio), +25, 295-306 -- 601
T12. NIU, +25, 305-296 -- 601
14. Toledo, +34, 304-306 -- 610
15. Drake, +35, 314-297 -- 611
Huskie Individual Standings
T12. Jake Curwin, +2, 76-70 -- 146
T20. Liam White, +72-76 -- 148
T46. Raphael Denais, +8, 80-72 -- 152
T70. Pierrick Fillon, +12, 78-78 -- 156
80. Caulen Coe, +18, 79-83 -- 162