Spring Sport’s Guide: Men’s Golf

Sarah Kuta

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While the rest of campus is dodging the last few winter snowflakes at the end of March, the Wildcats will be enjoying the warm weather in Delray Beach, Fla., at the Spring Break Championship. But it’s not all play for the Cats as they head into a challenging spring season.

Northwestern has its sights set high as it kicks off its spring action with intentions of winning the Big Ten Championships and advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight.

After a slow fall season, coach Pat Goss hopes for improvement in what he calls the only real “year-round sport.”

“We had a very average fall. It was kind of a slow start,” Goss said. “We struggled a little bit. We never seemed to be able to get over the hump. There were moments where we played well, but I would like to see us reach our potential.”

Standout junior David Lipsky helped NU to an eighth-place tie with Michigan State at the Prestige at PGA West, snatching an eighth-place finish himself and scoring in the 60s for the fourth time in his collegiate career. Lipsky also led the Cats to a seventh place team finish at the CordeValle Collegiate, tying with freshman Eric Chun for an individual seventh place.

Lipsky stayed in Evanston this summer to practice on his own at some of the courses the Cats would be competing at this year. He realized he wanted to make golf his career and decided to increase his individual practice time.

“The fall was everything I expected,” Lipsky said. “I’m really happy with the way I played.”

Chun turned heads this fall, finishing 13th at NU’s own Windon Memorial Championship. At the Big Ten Match Play Championship earlier in February, Chun was named to the All-Tournament Team, finishing with an individual 4-0 record and helping the team to a fifth-place finish.

Goss said Chun was able to prove his abilities this fall and hopes that the freshman will continue to improve.

Goss also commented on the Cats’ youth; NU has only one senior on the roster.

“I would love to see us advance to the championships because that way the younger guys have some experience and something to build on for the next two years,” he said. “Being such a young team gives us an opportunity to grow and learn and continue improving.”

Senior Andrew DeKeuster finished in the top 20 at Windon and is ready to finish out his career at NU on a positive note with this spring season. DeKeuster noted the drawbacks to living in place that has a winter climate.

“It’s a pretty big disadvantage. Playing on Astroturf is a lot different than playing outside,” DeKeuster said. “We are very fortunate to have the facilities that we do, though. We try to work on the technical stuff during the winter.

“We get the kinks out of our swings and work on our short game, but in the spring we just love to get out there.”

DeKeuster will be focusing on playing more consistently in tournaments this spring. He added that although the tournament schedule will be tough, the team’s goals are definitely achievable.

“We are excited to get to the next tournament,” DeKeuster said. “It’s great to get away for the weekend and play a little golf. We love to see the divots fly.”

sarahkuta2012@u.northwestern.edu

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