April 11, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. -- Just three days after returning home from the Pacific Northwest, the Northern Illinois University men’s golf team returns to action at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational, hosted by the University of Iowa, at Finkbine Golf Course in Iowa City, Iowa.
Along with the Huskies and host Hawkeyes, the 12-team field also includes: Denver, DePaul, Iowa State, Kansas, Marquette, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington State and Wisconsin.
“We are finished with the national portion of our schedule and we are now back to playing the same type of grass and the same type of golf courses as we see at home,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “Finkbine is not Chambers Bay; it will be more straight forward. I believe our best golf is still ahead of us and we have an opportunity at Finkbine to score a lot better.”
Freshman Raphael Denais (Saint-Aventin, France/Lycee Ste Ursule) enters this weekend after firing a final round 73 at the Redhawk Invitational, the best round of his collegiate career. Freshman Caulen Coe (Gulf Stream, Fla./University of Nebraska Independent School) also had a strong finish at Chambers Bay, finishing with a final round 75, his best round since the Forest Hills Collegiate on March 1.
Freshman Pierrick Fillon (Voreppe, France/Lycee Pierre Beghin) returns to the lineup after sitting out the Redhawk Invitiational earlier this week at Chambers Bay. Also competing for NIU will be freshman Jake Curwin (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) and junior Liam White (Waukegan, Ill./Carmel Catholic/Indian Hills CC)
A par-72, 7,239-yard layout, the Finkbine Golf Course has been host to multiple NCAA golf events as well as the Hogan Tour in 1991 and the Nike Tour in 1992 and ’93. Last season, Kansas claimed the team title at the Hawkeye Invitational, one stroke ahead of host Iowa.
“The par threes are pretty hard,” Porten said of Finkbine. “It is similar to most of the Big Ten, on-campus courses; they are going to give you six or seven wedges that you need to take advantage of. It might be a par four or a layup par five, but it is about can you do what you need to do with your scoring clubs. That wasn’t the case at Chambers Bay, so it will challenge us in a different way.”
The 36-hole event will begin with a shotgun start at 9 a.m., on Saturday and will conclude with the final 18 holes on Sunday. The Huskies will be paired with DePaul and Wisconsin in Saturday’s opening two round of action, live scoring will be available via GolfStat.com.