Men’s Golf: Chun taps into “confidence”

Sarah Kuta

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The only difference between Eric Chun and the five top-25 golfers at the U.S. Intercollegiate was a ranking.

As far as the freshman is concerned, if he played like a top golfer, he was a top golfer.

“They play with confidence because they know they are at the top,” Chun said. “I just had to do the same and know that I’m no different than they are.”

Northwestern placed 13th out of 17 teams last weekend at the U.S. Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, Calif. Freshman Eric Chun led the Wildcats with an individual 13th place finish and a 3-under 207 (67-68-72).

After capturing the team title at the Kepler Intercollegiate April 12 in Columbus, Ohio, the Cats’ 13th place finish was disappointing. Though the field was stacked with ten top-50 teams, coach Pat Goss said he had hoped the team would achieve its first win over a high-ranked team.

“With the quality of players we have, we should have garnered more wins,” he said. “We lost to No. 15 Texas by only two strokes. We had the opportunity but just didn’t take advantage.”

Chun bogeyed hole one of the first round before earning four birdies and 13 pars for the remainder of the morning. During the second round, he made five birdies and three bogeys to finish 2-under and in a tie for 4th place.

He went into the final round with the knowledge that even a small mistake could jeopardize his position.

“In other tournaments, if I messed up, I could come back,” Chun said. “This weekend there was a lot of pressure to do my best and not make mistakes. That’s not a good thing to think about.”

Junior David Lipsky shot an even-par 70 during the first round. During the second round, he made an eagle on the first hole and a birdied the eighth to finish 16th after two rounds.

Playing the final round with Division II team Chico State, Lipsky said he was frustrated and disappointed with himself and the team.

“I knew the team was in a tough spot,” he said. “And I knew that every shot counted. We finished by less than 10 shots behind some of the top-10. We could’ve easily made those shots up.”

After four consecutive weekends of tournaments, NU has this weekend off. Goss attributed some of the team’s recent errors to physical and mental fatigue.

“It was some pretty ambitious scheduling on my part,” Goss said. “After a grueling four week schedule, our short game wasn’t strong enough. Sometimes your body can feel out of sorts, or your timing just doesn’t feel good. The short game is what has to get you through that.”

The Cats will be back in action the first weekend of May at the Big Ten Championships in State College, Pa. After a less than desirable showing at the U.S. Intercollegiate, Chun and the Cats have some business to take care of before the postseason.

“It will be nice to take a break this weekend, but I don’t see this as a break, I see it as a time to improve,” Chun said. “We need to look back and focus on our strengths and really attack our weaknesses.”