Men’s Golf: Northwestern looks for top-5 finish at NCAA regionals


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Conor Richardson lines up a putt. The graduate student and the Wildcats open NCAA Regional play on Monday.

Jonah Dylan, Print Development and Recruitment Editor

Men’s Golf

If there’s one thing college athletics can prove, it’s that where a team is seeded almost never matters once the competition begins.

Northwestern enters the Baton Rouge regional seeded fifth and will need to finish in the top five to advance to NCAA championships. But coach David Inglis said his team isn’t taking its seeding into account.

“There’s no complacency among the guys,” he said. “They know that everyone starts from scratch. The seeding really doesn’t matter at this point, everyone’s in the tournament and the top five advance.”

In their last four tournaments, the Wildcats have consistently tallied top-three finishes. But they haven’t gotten over the hump and finished atop the podium. At the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate in March, NU lost to Michigan by 2 strokes only to beat the Wolverines by 33 strokes at the Big Ten Championships in April.

At the Boilermaker Invitational, the Cats outplayed the rest of the competition, including then-No. 10 Kent State, over the final two rounds. But NU had a rough first day, and couldn’t recover, ultimately finishing third.

At the Big Ten Championships, the story was the same. The Cats outplayed No. 8 Illinois over the tournament’s final two days but were 17 strokes back after the first round, eventually finishing second. Inglis said his team has moved past the slow starts and is ready for the first round Monday.

“I don’t think we need to dwell too much on the fact that we’ve had slow starts the last two tournaments; we just do our best to prepare for this one, and we’ll be ready to go when the gun goes off,” he said.

Sophomore Ryan Lumsden was the top individual for NU at Big Tens, finishing tied for second and just one stroke back of Illinois’ Dylan Meyer, who won the tournament and was later named Big Ten Player of the Year. Lumsden was later named to the All-Big Ten first team.

Junior Dylan Wu was also selected for the All-Big Ten first team, and earned his distinction in unanimous fashion. Wu, NU’s top player, said he was excited to play against Oregon’s Wyndham Clark and LSU’s Sam Burns, who are ranked as the top two players in the country, respectively.

“That’s great for me,” he said. “If I can play well and hopefully beat them, that helps boost my resume. I’m looking forward to the challenge. Having the best two players in the country and beating them definitely would help.”

In Baton Rouge, NU is seeded behind No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Oregon, No. 17 Duke and No. 18 Virginia. If the Cats do finish in the top five, they’ll qualify for NCAA Championships, which will be held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Despite the lure of playing in the national championships not far from home, graduate student Conor Richardson said the team is taking it one day at a time.

“We just have to continue to take each day at a time, each hole at a time and don’t worry about the things that go wrong, just kind of play our own game,” he said. “I know that our team, when we play well, we’re good enough to compete with anybody and we’re good enough to win, let alone finish in the top five.”

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