Feb. 22, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois men’s golf team will hit the road this weekend to play in Augusta State’s Forest Hills Collegiate on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Forest Hills Golf Club in scenic Augusta, Ga. They will play 36 holes in this one-day event.
Joining the Huskies and Augusta State are Jacksonville State, North Carolina Central, Charleston Southern, USC Upstate, Wofford, Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian and Tennessee Tech. Georgia, ranked 11th in the GolfWeek rankings, will also be sending individuals to participate.
“We are looking forward to getting to Augusta and playing our first stroke play event of the spring,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “The format of this event is a little different, playing just 36 holes all in one day, but we are excited to get back on the course this weekend.”
NIU enters their second spring tournament coming off a fourth-place showing at the MAC Match Play last week in Florida. The Huskies won their first round match in a tie breaker over second-seeded Akron, but dropped their remaining matches to Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan. Senior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) led the team during the two-day event, compiling a 3-0 record to start his spring campaign. Luedtke’s return to form was welcome to both him and the Huskies after playing three strokes over his career scoring average during the fall. The Aurora native will play out of the second slot on Coach Porten’s lineup card this Saturday.
Fellow Aurora product, senior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy), freshman Connor Nelson (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah), and Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville) will be making their spring debuts in Georgia. Emory will look to get back to his ways that led him to NIU’s second-best scoring average last season. Nelson finished 42nd in his lone fall start at the Earl Yestingsmeier Iinvitatiaonl. Hammerschmidt begins his last spring season after piecing together a 77.6 scoring average over his two-and-a-half seasons as a Huskie.
Redshirt senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) and Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) fill out Porten’s lineup. Both fought to 1-2 records in the MAC Match Play.
The field will be challenging the 1926 Donald Ross design that is Forest Hills Golf Club. Augusta State’s home course has played host to golf greats from Bobby Jones to Phil Mickelson, with the latter winning there in 1989. The course will play to par 72 and 7,084 yards.