April 18, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois University men’s golf team will play its final tournament before the MAC Championship this weekend as the Huskies travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to compete in the Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Course. The two-day, 54-hole event begins on Saturday, April 19 and will conclude on Sunday, April 20.
The 15-team field at the Boilermaker Invitational includes nine schools ranked in the current GolfStat Top 100 as No. 9 Illinois, No. 14 UCLA, No. 32 Kent State, No. 39 Purdue, No. 41 Iowa, No. 49 Northwestern, No. 56 Louisville, No. 61 Ohio State and No. 82 Indiana headline the tournament. Also in the field are Drake, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Toledo and Wichita State.
“This is something of a final exam, particularly for our freshmen, as they prepare for their first MAC Championship in two weeks,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “There is no better place to prepare them then Purdue. It is a tremendous field with UCLA and many good teams from the Big Ten, from Illinois who is a top-10 team to Indiana and Ohio State who are bubble teams right now for the NCAA field.”
The NIU lineup will remain unchanged from last weekend’s trip to the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, where freshman Caulen Coe (Gulf Stream, Fla./University of Nebraska Independent School) and junior Liam White (Waukegan, Ill./Carmel Catholic/Indian Hills CC) led the Huskies, each carding three-round totals of 230.
Freshman Raphael Denais (Saint-Aventin, France/Lycee Ste Ursule) carded his best round of the spring last week at Iowa with a second round 72, while freshmen Pierrick Fillon (Voreppe, France/Lycee Pierre Beghin) and Jake Curwin (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary’s) will round out the Huskie quintet heading to West Lafayette.
The par-72, 7,259-yard Kampen Course is a Pete Dye design and played host to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in 2008.
“It is a golf course that we like,” Porten said of Kampen. “It suits our games; you have to drive it long and straight, which we have been doing pretty well for the last month. You are also going to get 8-10 wedges in your hand, so it is important to take advantage of those opportunities.
“The predominant signature of the golf course is its par threes. They all have water and they are all tough. Some play 250 yards, some play about 170, but they are very tricky, especially when the wind blows. If we are playing the par threes well we will have a chance to improve our performance and have our best tournament of the year.”
Play begins on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. CT, 8:45 a.m. local, with a shotgun start, the Huskies will be paired with Drake and Wichita State. Live scoring will be available via GolfStat.com.