Men’s Golf: Lack of consistency dooms Wildcats

Kevin Casey, Reporter

Throughout the spring season, coach Pat Goss beseeched his players for consistency in their performance, but they never came through.

Poor play from too many Northwestern golfers ultimately sunk the squad’s effort to make it back to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2010. The slide started at the Big Ten Championships, where NU finished sixth, despite being the highest-ranked squad going into the event. The sour golf then carried over to the NCAA Regionals, where the Cats faded to an eighth-place finish when they needed a top-five spot to move on.

Though Jack Perry so clearly rose to the occasion in his junior season, avoiding any score above 74 until the penultimate event of the season and using his trustworthy golf to snag the Les Bolstad Award for lowest season scoring average among all Big Ten golfers, one player does not a team make.

The rest of NU’s golfers did not live up to the standard. Nicholas Losole provided NU with a solid No. 2, and, at times, the underclassmen trio of Matthew Negri, Andrew Whalen and Josh Jamieson rose to the occasion. Yet Losole could be hampered by one poor round, and the trio never put it together all at once and actually produced some spectacularly bad rounds instead.

Undoubtedly, the Cats have hope in avenging this year’s poor finish. Perry, easily the team’s best player, returns next year, as do all other participating players save Losole.

NU also adds the world’s 11th-ranked amateur to the fray, and that could be a real game changer.

“We should have a very strong team next year,” Goss said. “We’re bringing the best recruit we’ve brought in 15 years or more, a player who can make an immediate impact. With any recruit it’s a little up in the air, but Matt Fitzpatrick appears to be somebody who can play and compete right away, and hopefully we will see some improvement and growth from the rest of the team as well.”