Aug. 2, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - Near the end of August, Shawn Foley will begin his collegiate career at Northern Illinois. But in the prior few weeks, he has been busy fine-tuning his golf game as he prepares to face some of the nation's top amateur golfers over the next four years.
Foley ended June by finishing in a tie for fourth place at the Wisconsin Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) Junior Championship. He fired a two-under-par 70 in the first round at Yahara Hills Golf Course in Madison and posted a 73 in the final round. His total score of 143 was just two strokes away from second place.
The Pewaukee, Wis., native then ended July even better. The lefty won the 18-and-under age division of the 37th annual Mike Bencriscutto Junior Masters State Match Play Tournament. Open to only the top junior golfers in the state, the competition was held at H.F. Johnson Park Golf Course in Racine. Foley had to survive two rounds of qualifying before advancing to the 32-player, 36-hole finals. He opened up a four-hole lead and had it trimmed to one in the afternoon round of the championship match, but was able to hold on for a 2 and 1 triumph.
The Waukesha North High School product did not enter the tournament as one of the favorites to win, but he left quite an impression. Even more astonishing is the company that Foley's name now rests next to. Among the past winners of the prestigious competition that started in 1974 are PGA Tour members Steve Stricker, Skip Kendall, J.P. Hayes, and Jerry Kelly.
"We are proud of Shawn playing so well as he rounds out his junior amateur career," said an excited Tom Porten, second-year head coach of the NIU men's golf program. "He is transitioning well toward entry into college golf. Huskie Nation is excited to have Shawn come into our program. We have big plans for him."
A 2010 second team all-state selection, Foley joins fellow left-handed incoming freshman Danny Cameron (Bloomington, Minn./Thomas Jefferson H.S.) as the only rookies to the 2010-11 NIU roster that returns nine players, led by 2009-10 second team All-Mid-American Conference selection Jeff Dick. The Huskies begin the upcoming fall season on September 12-14 in Huntington, W. Va., at the Marshall Invitational.