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Men’s Golf: Slow start dooms Northwestern at Erin Hills Intercollegiate

Dylan+Wu+tees+off.+The+senior+finished+14th+at+the+Erin+Hills+Intercollegiate+to+pace+Northwestern%2C+but+the+Wildcats+finished+in+a+disappointing+10th.%0A
Dylan Wu tees off. The senior finished 14th at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate to pace Northwestern, but the Wildcats finished in a disappointing 10th.

Dylan Wu tees off. The senior finished 14th at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate to pace Northwestern, but the Wildcats finished in a disappointing 10th.

(Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette)

(Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette)

Dylan Wu tees off. The senior finished 14th at the Erin Hills Intercollegiate to pace Northwestern, but the Wildcats finished in a disappointing 10th.

Benjy Apelbaum, Assistant Sports Editor

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Men’s Golf


Entering the Erin Hills Intercollegiate, Northwestern hoped to improve on its performance two weeks ago. But like they did at the Fighting Illini Invitational, the Wildcats faltered, finishing in the bottom half of the field.

After finishing 13th out of 15 teams two weeks ago, NU improved to 10th this weekend in Erin, Wisconsin. Though the finish was still disappointing, the Cats showed flashes of improved play on the tournament’s final day.

“We were faltering the first two days, and we never got anything going,” coach David Inglis said. “We did a lot of good things today, but we still made way too many mistakes.”

In the first two days, NU shot 29-over-par as a team and found itself in 11th place. On the final day the Cats shot 9-over, tied for the fourth-best score on the day.

Inglis credited the improved performance to a more aggressive mindset he encouraged the team to take. NU’s five-man lineup shot just 13 combined birdies through the first two rounds, but shot a combined 20 in the final round.

“We were more willing to take risks today, and it was far more encouraging to see good things happen today,” Inglis said. “But we hit a lot of bad shots, and more than anything our problems came from our poor short games.”

One bright spot for NU was the play of senior Dylan Wu, who tied for 14th place in an 87-competitor draw, shooting four-over for the tournament. Wu echoed Inglis’ belief that the team needed to be more aggressive. It showed in his play during the final day, as he tallied five birdies after shooting just three on the first two days.

Erin Hills hosted the 2017 U.S. Open, a notoriously tough tournament, but Wu did not think the course’s difficulty justified the Cats’ poor play.

“It’s pretty cool (to play on a U.S. Open course), it shows it’s a tough golf course and a good event,” Wu said. “But, the course gives you chances and there’s plenty of opportunities, it’s not like it’s impossible to score well.”

The gusty winds and difficult conditions were two factors that led to the high scores, sophomore Everton Hawkins said. Despite the tough conditions, Hawkins turned in the second-best score on the team, finishing tied for 19th, shooting seven over par.

With NU’s home tournament on the horizon next weekend, Hawkins said he hopes the Cats can carry the lessons they learned in Wisconsin into the Windon Memorial Classic.

“We played the best today because we were able to control our shots in the wind more,” Hawkins said. “If we can do that at our home tournament, we have a chance to win.”

Email: Benjaminapelbaum2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @benjyapelbaum

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