Sept. 21, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois men’s golf team travels to Normal, Ill., to compete in Illinois State’s D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate for the third-straight season Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22.
In addition to Redbirds, the Huskies will be joined by a contingent of Midwest programs. Bradley, Central Arkansas, Detroit, Illinois, Loyola, Miami, Missouri State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, SIU Edwardsville, Western Illinois and Wisconsin comprise the 15-team field.
“We had our best week of practice this week,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “We are familiar with this event and we are very excited to get back into competition and keep improving. Kurtis Luedtke is back in the lineup after his finger injury and Paul Hammerschmidt also returns. It will be the first time we have had this lineup together and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do on a golf course that is very different from the two we have competed on so far.”
Veteran Huskies Nick Schiavi (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) will play the lead roles in NIU’s return to the Weibring Golf Club. Schiavi enters the event coming off a 15th-place showing at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate. After finishing 44th at Rich Harvest Farms in the season opener, the sophomore has risen to the number-one position on Coach Porten’s scorecard. Schiavi will look to improve on his tie for 48th at the D.A. Weibring last fall.
Senior Griffin Bauman has been the most consistent Huskie this season. The Crystal Lake native has hovered around the top 30 during the year’s first two events, including a team-leading tie for 29th at Rich Harvest Farms. Bauman, who is NIU’s active leader with 28 tournaments played, finished tied for 40th at Illinois State in 2011.
Sophomore Nick Huggins (Marietta, Ohio/Marietta), senior Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) and senior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) round out Porten’s lineup card. The trio will be making their first trip to the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate.
The Huskies will be challenging Weibring Golf Club, a par-71, 6,915-yard layout built in 1962. After a 2000 renovation, the course was dedicated to its new architect, ISU alumnus, and former PGA Tour player, D.A. Weibring.
“The D.A. Weibring course has collection areas, chipping swales and a lot of tight-lie shots around the green whereas Wolf Run and our home course have deep, bluegrass rough,” Porten said of the differences between Weibring and the other courses played this fall.
With this in mind, the Rich Harvest Farms grounds crew cut the fringe and greenside areas shorter to simulate the Weibring Golf Club experience for NIU’s practices this week.
Northern Illinois will open with 36 holes on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m., as the Huskies are paired with Illinois and Illinois State, teams will be repaired for Sunday’s final 18 holes.