Men’s Golf: Wildcats finish third at The Boilermaker ahead of postseason play


Daily file photo by Nathan Richards

Dylan Wu eyes the green before a putt. The sophomore finished The Boilermaker at 5-under par.

Tyler VanderMolen, Reporter

Men’s Golf

On a day when Northwestern’s most famous golf alumnus, Luke Donald, was contending for a victory on the PGA Tour, the current bunch of Wildcats also found themselves near the top of the leaderboard.

A strong final round propelled NU to a third-place finish in a 15-team field at The Boilermaker Invitational in West Lafayette, Indiana, a tournament that pitted the Cats against a number of their Big Ten rivals. The effort marked what was perhaps the team’s most complete showing of the year in its final regular season event and served to further bolster its postseason resume.

Coach David Inglis said he was pleased with his team’s performance and believes the squad’s momentum carried over from an exceptional final round at last week’s Kepler Intercollegiate.

“We really did some good things here, and it’s encouraging to see things coming together and all of the guys chipping in with solid rounds,” Inglis said. “We shot the best round in the field to close out last week, and the confidence from that seemed like it stayed with us.”

NU’s effort came at precisely the right time with the Big Ten Championships, easily the team’s most significant event to date, set to begin in less than a week.

The Cats got a good look at some of next week’s stiffest competition at The Boilermaker, as they finished behind only No. 2 Illinois and Purdue, the tournament host. Illinois won the event with a three-round total of 17-under par, with Purdue in second at 10-under and NU finishing third at 3-under.

The team’s finish placed them ahead of conference rivals Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana, and Inglis praised his squad for hanging tough with some of the nation’s best teams.

“We actually ended up beating Illinois in the final round, and we’ve beaten Purdue already this season, so we know how good we can be when it’s our day,” Inglis said. “With the Big Ten’s coming up here, it’s a definite confidence builder to be able to beat some of those teams in the conference and be right there with some of the others.”

Sophomore standout Dylan Wu once again led the way for the Cats, firing a three-round total of 5-under par to finish in third place individually. Wu was followed by freshman Ryan Lumsden, who finished at 1-under and tied for 10th place, and senior Josh Jamieson, who shot even par and tied for 14th.

Senior Andrew Whalen finished at 5-over and tied for 30th, while sophomore Sam Triplett shot 8-over to finish tied for 45th.

Competing as an individual, freshman Luke Miller carded an 11-over tie for 56th.

Wu said he was satisfied to find himself back near the top of the leaderboard but emphasized that he feels like his best play is still ahead of him.

“It had been a while since I had been in contention to win a tournament, so it was great to feel the anxiousness and the energy of playing well,” Wu said. “But at the same time I didn’t really have it all clicking. It was more of a grind-it-out kind of weekend, so it was nice to be able to put together a solid score even when I didn’t necessarily have my A-game.”

NU will have a tall task ahead of it at the Big Ten Championships if it hopes to beat Illinois and the rest of the conference’s elite, something that’s not lost on Inglis or his players.

Yet, Inglis said he feels like his team may be peaking at just the right time, making it a dangerous contender.

“We all know that if we want to win next week it’s going to have to be the very best we can play,” Inglis said. “We’re not Illinois where we can go out and not be at our best and still have a chance. But I think we’ve shown that when we’re on we can be as good as anyone, and our guys are playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

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