April 8, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois men’s golf team will travel to Columbia, Mo., to compete in the Columbia Orthopaedic Group Mizzou Intercollegiate on Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10. The 54-hole event will take place at The Club at Old Hawthorne.
Last season, NIU claimed 11th at the Mizzou Intercollegiate. Junior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) and junior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) are the only two current Huskies to compete in last season’s event. Emory tied for 44th-place while Bauman finished in a tie for 58th.
The Club at Old Hawthorne is a 7,221-yard, par-72 course designed by Art Schaupeter and opened in the spring of 2007. The course was recently voted the 12th-best course in the State of Missouri by the Missouri Golf Association.
“This is the third-straight year that we are playing in Missouri’s tournament,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “The course is a hilly, long and challenging layout with really big, sloping greens. The weather is supposed to be good tomorrow so we look forward to getting out there and seeing if we can put together a good first round. We want the guys to just stick to the plan, execute shots and give ourselves as many chances to make putts as possible.”
After playing all of its spring tournaments in the south thus far, Porten sees the benefits of being back in NIU’s home region of the country
“I think it’s good that we are back on familiar grass, especially the greens. They are pure bent grass greens, there isn’t a grain in them, and so what you see is what you get. You read the green and, if you put your ball on the right line, there is a pretty good chance it will follow that line.”
Junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) is coming off his best finish of the season last time out, tying for 26th at the Irish Creek Collegiate, while junior Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) returns to the lineup for the first time since the fall.
“This will be a veteran group,” Porten said. “We are playing four juniors and a sophomore so I’m anxious to see how we do tomorrow. I feel that if we do our work tomorrow we have a chance to be competitive with everyone here.”
Among the schools joining NIU in the 15-team field are Cincinnati, Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin. The Huskies will be paired with Iowa State and Northern Iowa in Monday’s 36-hole day of competition.
“Iowa State is a top-50 program, so it is good to have a pairing where we can challenge ourselves and see where we are at,” said Porten.
Play at the COG Mizzou Intercollegiate begins on Monday with a shotgun start at 7 a.m. Tuesday’s final round of competition will tee off with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.