Men’s Golf: Poor weather won’t hinder the Wildcats this weekend


Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Dylan Wu crouches in preparation of a putt. The sophomore finished tied for 13th overall in The Goodwin last month.

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

Men’s Golf

For many people, 40 degree temperatures and a steady drizzle may not be dream golf weather, but those are the conditions the Wildcats will likely be facing in their upcoming matches.

Northwestern has braved the elements recently in preparation for the upcoming Kepler Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, before it heads to West Lafayette, Indiana, and the Big Ten Championship in Newburgh, Indiana.

“It’s just really important to make sure we’re preparing for the kind of golf and tests we’re going to face over the next three weeks,” coach David Inglis said. “And we’ve got the perfect environment here to do that.”

Inglis, a Scotland native, is no stranger to golf in the elements, and has been working hard to prepare the team to deal with wind, rain and low temperatures common to the Midwest — and Scotland — in April.

Inglis isn’t the only Scotsman with a key role on the squad, as senior Josh Jamieson also hails from golf’s home country and is familiar with its unforgiving elements.

“I’ve played more rounds of golf below 45 degrees than most people, growing up in Scotland,” Jamieson said. “It doesn’t affect my game too much, just got to stay warm and recalculate your numbers a little bit.”

Although Jamieson has plenty of experience in less than pristine conditions, the same can’t be said for sophomore phenom and Oregon native Dylan Wu, who played his junior golf along the Pacific coast.

For Wu, the adjustment to Midwestern golf requires him to take a different approach than what he’s used to.

“You kind of have a different mentality going into it, like 15-under-par isn’t going to win this tournament,” Wu said. “It’s important to minimize the mistakes and bounce back from them. Just know that, on a tough day, you’re going to make bogey, everyone’s going to make bogey just because the conditions to score are just a lot tougher.”

Even with the challenges posed by the weather, the Cats have been playing some of their best golf of the year in recent weeks, finishing eighth out of 26 teams at the Goodwin, one spot ahead of then-No. 1 USC.

Inglis, however, sees the Goodwin as just the beginning.

“We just have to build off that,” Inglis said. “It was good to beat USC, but I certainly don’t think you’ve even seen our best golf yet. We’re starting to come together, guys are starting to come into form, so I’m excited for the next three weeks.”

As the team rounds into form toward the end of the season, each golfer is looking to put the finishing touches on his game in time for the Big Ten Championship.

For Jamieson, that focus was on ball-striking and making solid contact off the tee.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in the range because I was a little bit off balance at the Goodwin,” Jamieson said. “I’d be content with keeping my short game and putting the way it was at the Goodwin. I was pretty good in that area.”

His short game prowess was clearly evident throughout the tournament, as Jamieson made 11 birdies, tied for No. 13 among all competitors in the tournament.

Although each player focuses on fine tuning his game, Inglis remains focused on the team’s ability to battle through challenging circumstances.

“My expectations for the guys is just to be the number one prepared team in the field, ready to battle it out in any conditions,” Inglis said. “We want to be the toughest, most determined, grittiest team out there. If we take care of that, then the results will take care of themselves.”

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