Men’s Golf: Wildcats starts season with optimism

Sophomore+Dylan+Wu+lines+up+a+putt.+Wu+has+picked+up+where+he+left+off+last+season+and+has+paced+the+Cats+in+their+first+two+tournaments+this+year.
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Men’s Golf: Wildcats starts season with optimism

Sophomore Dylan Wu lines up a putt. Wu has picked up where he left off last season and has paced the Cats in their first two tournaments this year.

Sophomore Dylan Wu lines up a putt. Wu has picked up where he left off last season and has paced the Cats in their first two tournaments this year.

Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Sophomore Dylan Wu lines up a putt. Wu has picked up where he left off last season and has paced the Cats in their first two tournaments this year.

Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Sophomore Dylan Wu lines up a putt. Wu has picked up where he left off last season and has paced the Cats in their first two tournaments this year.

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

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There’s a new attitude around the Wildcats this year.

Maybe it’s because the team’s top two players from last year, sophomore Dylan Wu and senior Josh Jamieson, returned. Maybe it’s because of the preseason trip to Scotland, Jamieson’s, Coach David Inglis’ and golf’s home country. Maybe it’s the team’s third place finish in the Windon Memorial at the end of September.

No matter what it is, Inglis said he believes in the team’s potential.

“I know we’re good,” he said. “I know we’re a lot better than last year, and I know when we play our best we’re going to have a chance to really compete with the best teams in the country.”

Jamieson echoed Inglis’s optimism, citing the team’s depth as a reason for potential improvement.

“As a team it seems like we’re improving,” Jamieson said. “It looks like we have eight guys who are all going contribute to the team at some point this year, which is different from any other year I’ve had at Northwestern. Everybody’s already played some good golf.”

That depth comes in the form of four new players. Freshmen Ryan Lumsden, Luke Miller and Pete Griffith join graduate transfer Harley Abrams from Lehigh as the newcomers to the squad.

The returning four players on the team, along with Inglis, have recognized the potential the new additions bring to the team.

“The freshmen are really contributing this year,” Wu said. “It’s a little different attitude than last year especially. This year I definitely like the direction where our program is going.”

The freshmen have a solid example in Wu. In his first year last season, Wu won the Gifford Collegiate Championship in San Martin, California. This year, Wu has paced the team, leading the Cats in both the Fighting Illini Invitational, and the Windon Memorial, where he placed third.

As the four newcomers have learned from Wu this year, they’ve also benefitted from the knowledge of Inglis and Goss, which Wu cites as an important reason for his success.

“I give a lot of credit to my coaches,” Wu said. “The biggest thing this year and the end of last year that I’ve learned from them is how to stay patient on the golf course and how to try to keep my emotions in tact. That really prevents me from spiraling downhill.”

So far this season, Wu has avoided those downhill spirals, coming from six strokes back to have a chance for the lead on the 17th hole at the Windon, before falling back into third.

While the team has benefitted from Wu’s blazing start, Jamieson has had a rougher first two tournaments, shooting under par in only one of his six rounds. It was, however, his most recent round, and it may help him get back on track.

“It was important. It showed me that I can put in a decent score even though my game wasn’t good,” Jamieson said. “My game wasn’t any different in the final round than in the first day, which in some ways is frustrating, but it’s also encouraging that when my game’s not there I can still compete and put in a good score for the team.”

Whether or not this year proves to be a major improvement for the program, the team already had a unique experience this preseason.

Inglis and Jamieson organized a team trip to Scotland, where they played historic courses such as St. Andrews, the home of the 2015 Open Championship, and also Jamieson’s hometown course.

“Being from Scotland, it was pretty cool for me to take these guys home,” Inglis said. “I got to see my hometown and my home golf club where I grew up playing golf. That trip was really cool. That’s kind of a once in a lifetime type of thing.”

Email: josephwilkinson2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @joe_f_wilkinson

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