Men’s Golf: Northwestern disappoints in first tournament


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Ryan Lumsden tees up a shot. The junior and the Wildcats finished in a disappointing 13th place at the Fighting Illini Invitational over the weekend.

Benjy Apelbaum, Assistant Sports Editor

Men’s Golf

Against the cream of the crop, Northwestern turned in a disappointing performance at the Fighting Illini Invitational this weekend.

The Wildcats shot 35-over-par and finished 13th of 15 schools at the Olympia Fields Country Club, which previously hosted two U.S. Opens. The competition was some of the toughest NU will face all year, featuring 11 teams who competed in the NCAA Championships last season and 10 of the top 25 ranked teams in the nation this season. No. 16 Texas A&M won the tournament at 3-under-par.

“Any time you test yourself against the best competition on a tough course like Olympia Fields, a U.S. Open course, it’s going to be good, but our guys would say we’re pretty disappointed with our performance,” coach David Inglis said. “They know they’re better than that. We just didn’t look sharp.”

NU entered the season with a more experienced roster led by senior Dylan Wu and junior Ryan Lumsden and as a result received votes in the coaches poll. However, the team did not quite live up to those expectations over the weekend.

After posting a poor score during the first round of the tournament Friday, the Cats did better Saturday, and at the end of the day, sat in 12th place with a number of teams just a few strokes ahead. NU went into Sunday with an opportunity to quickly move up the leaderboard and make a statement in its first competition of the season, but ultimately fell short of a quality finish.

“I was disappointed in the end. I felt like we were in position today and even after the first nine holes, we were only a few shots out of seventh place,” Inglis said. “There was a tightly packed leaderboard and unfortunately we played our worst nine holes of the week to finish.”

One of the brighter spots for the Cats was the performance of freshman Eric McIntosh. In his collegiate debut, the Scotland native finished tied for 39th of 78 competitors with a 9-over-par for the tournament, the same score Lumsden recorded. McIntosh’s tournament was highlighted by a 1-under second round, which was made more impressive by the fact that, according to fellow Scotsman Inglis, the putting greens are faster and therefore more difficult in the United States than in Scotland.

“The conditions of the courses out here are a lot different from back home so it’s an adjustment,” McIntosh said. “I thought I did a decent job overall. I definitely felt more comfortable as the week went on although I had a bad nine holes today.”

As usual, Wu led the way for the Cats with his 4-over finish, which placed him in a tie for 25th place. Senior Sam Triplett and sophomore Everton Hawkins finished with scores of 14-over and 18-over, respectively.

Inglis and Wu said they believed rust and first tournament jitters may have contributed to the poor play. However, the team was still able to test itself against top competition, something it hopes will help during the next tournament in Erin Hills, Wisconsin starting Oct. 1.

“These are the teams that will be competing for a national championship so it was good to go out with the first tournament and set a high bar,” Wu said. “We’ll be looking to do better next time.”

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