May 2, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois men’s golf team will travel to Nashport, Ohio for the Mid-American Championships Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. The four-round event will be contested at Longaberger Golf Club.
In the only 72-hole event on the schedule, NIU will joined by the seven other MAC schools all trying to catch Kent State, the four-time defending champion of the conference title.
“With Kent State dominating the conference, they have the target on their back,” NIU head coach Tom Porten said. “We’re going to try to move up on the 36-hole day and get into that top pairing. We played with them at Purdue and it was a good experience for us. Our guys are hungry to try to get back to playing with them again.”
Three of the five Huskies in Porten’s lineup this week played in the MAC Championships when it was held at Longaberger Golf Club three years ago. Senior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) was the top finisher of that trio, shooting three straight 77s to secure a tie for 33rd. Redshirt senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) and senior Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Central) tied for 37th after shooting their best rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
“We had some success with Griffin, Kurtis, and Hammer there three years ago,” Porten said. “It’s a great opportunity for the four seniors, three of whom have played (Longaberger) in the championship prior to end their careers on a high note.”
The fourth senior to crack this weekend’s lineup is Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy). Emory enters the event in good form, less than a month removed from his Jim West Intercollegiate victory at TPC Craig Ranch, and he led the team with a tie for 24th at the Boilermaker Intercollegiate. Emory has posted finishes of T30 (2011) and T38 (2012) in previous MAC Championship starts.
Junior Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) rounds out Porten’s scorecard. Foley is the only underclassman making the trip, and he will also be making his MAC Championships debut.
The conference will be challenging one of the “Greatest Public Golf Courses in America" according to Golf Digest’s 2013-2014 list. In the two most recent MAC Championships held at Longaberger Golf Club, the Huskies finished ninth (2008) and sixth (2010). The course will play to par 72 and 7,243 yards this year.
Foley will be the first Huskie to tee off, putting his drive in play at 7:38 a.m. (CT) on Friday morning to begin 36 holes of play, Emory will be the final Huskie off on Friday morning, his tee time is scheduled for 8:26 a.m. (CT).