March 6, 2014
DEKALB, Ill. -The Northern Illinois University women's golf team aims to continue its momentum this spring in the desert as the Huskies travel to Arizona for the 12th Annual Rio Verde Invitational Friday.
Hosted by Western Michigan University, the Rio Verde Invitational will be played on the Quail Run Course at the Rio Verde Country Club. In addition to NIU and Western Michigan, the 18-team field includes Mid-American Conference foes Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Ohio and Toledo, as well as local rivals Illinois State and Bradley. Arkansas-Little Rock, Kansas City, Missouri State, Montana, Northern Arizona, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Wichita State and Xavier make up the rest of the field.
“The Rio Verde Invitational is a great tournament,” said NIU head coach Kim Kester. “It's a good field, but it's a playable course. It's not your typical desert course. There are hole you can score on and holes that are tougher to score on. It sets up well for us.”
The Huskies are looking to capitalize on its outstanding performance at the Islander Classic at the Corpus Christi Country Club in Corpus Christi, Texas, late week. NIU carded the second-lowest score in team history for a 54-hole event with a 922, finishing the tournament with a final round 299, the third-lowest 18-hole team score in school history.
“When you look at the 18 teams there, a top-five finish would be great,” Kester said. “We've seen a lot of these teams. We've beat a couple teams, they've beaten us. With eight MAC schools there, it definitely gives you an idea of where you are at and what you need to do to get better.
The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days, 18 holes each day. Friday begins with a 2 p.m. CT shotgun start. The course will play to a par of 71 and a length of 6,209 yards. There will be live three-hole scoring available on golfstat.com.