The University of Charlotte’s men’s golf team is ranked fourth in the nation. Pat Goss, the Northwestern head coach, said the Wildcats can beat them, and the team will have that chance this weekend at the Boilermaker Invitational, hosted by Purdue.
With the postseason approaching quickly, NU has a chance to prove itself against one of the top teams in the nation, at the site where the NCAA Championship final will be played.
To secure a top finish at the Boilermaker, the Cats will have to knock off more than Charlotte. The 14-team field at the invitational features five teams ranked in the Golfweek top 50, including three conference opponents: No. 23 Michigan State, No. 24 Indiana, and No. 48 Ohio State.
The Buckeyes and the Spartans finished ahead of the Cats last week at the Kepler Intercollegiate, so this weekend gives NU not only an opportunity to measure up against Charlotte, but also a chance to score victories over several Big Ten foes.
“We’re good enough that we should win that golf tournament,” Goss said.
That same attitude has been adopted by freshman golfer Josh Dupont, both for himself and the team.
“I think I could win it,” Dupont said. “There’s no reason not to. Everyone on our team is extremely talented and has potential to win every week.”
Dupont has been a steady contributor in the past few tournaments, but both he and Goss know he can play a lot better.
“Josh was one of the most highly touted recruits we’ve signed,” Goss said. “Like everybody, he’s had a little bit of trouble adjusting to college, and he’s found it frustrating at times.”
Goss said this year is a transition period for Dupont, during which he should get used to handling schoolwork and collegiate golf rather than becoming an All-American.
“He’s playing all these courses for the first time, balancing school work and golf for the first time, getting used to teammates and all that, so you’re maybe not as anxious with some inconsistencies,” Goss said.
Dupont said he will feed off the momentum from the team’s final two rounds of golf last week.
“When we get some good rounds under our belt and we get that confidence that we know we can do it, then it makes it easier to go out there and just do it,” Dupont said.