The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Golf: Wu leads Northwestern to second consecutive tournament win

Dylan Wu tees off. The senior led the Wildcats to a win at the UNCG/Grandover collegiate.

Dylan Wu tees off. The senior led the Wildcats to a win at the UNCG/Grandover collegiate.

Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Dylan Wu tees off. The senior led the Wildcats to a win at the UNCG/Grandover collegiate.

Benjy Apelbaum, Assistant Sports Editor

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Men’s Golf

It took Midwestern conditions to help Northwestern pull off a come-from-behind win in North Carolina at the UNCG/Grandover Collegiate this weekend.

The Wildcats traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, and defeated several higher-ranked teams from the Tar Heel state to claim their second-straight tournament victory over the 10-team field. Senior Dylan Wu won the tournament as an individual with a dominant 7-under-par performance that was four strokes better than the second-place finisher.

NU was aided on the second day of the two-day tournament by conditions that were more typical of fall in the Midwest than the South, as the temperatures dipped into the 50s with rain and high winds.

“When we realized (Sunday) was going to be cold and windy we were pretty excited for that,” senior Sam Triplett said. “We knew we were most prepared for it and had played in it more often than teams like Duke and North Carolina.”

The Cats finished the tournament at 9-over-par as a team, two strokes ahead of No. 20 North Carolina and six in front of Duke, which received votes in the coaches poll.

On the last day, NU shot 2-under, the best in the field, while the Blue Devils and Tar Heels both shot 5-over, allowing the Cats to surge into the lead.

“I was really proud of how tough they played today,” coach David Inglis said. “To go out in those conditions and play our best round of the tournament was really encouraging.”

As has become customary, Wu was the team’s scoring leader. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree a year ago, Wu has the lowest scoring average at NU this season by over a stroke.

Wu’s win came in a field of 75 competitors and was the third of his career after he won the Redhawk Invitational last spring and the Gifford Collegiate as a freshman. Wu was consistent throughout the Grandover, shooting scores of 3-under, 2-under and 2-under across the three rounds. However, Wu ran into some trouble at the beginning of the final round.

“He had to sleep on the lead and bogied the first two holes, but he rebounded well,” Inglis said. “He really played solidly coming in the last nine holes. The way he played the first day really kept our team in it, and he deserves a lot of credit for the win.”

After a slow start, junior Ryan Lumsden improved his score in each of the three rounds and finished tied for third at 1-under. Triplett and freshman Ethan Farnam both finished tied for 17th, but Farnam’s score did not count because he competed as an individual and not as part of the Cats’ five-man starting lineup.

Inglis praised the performance of the entire team and said he was proud of their improvement throughout the fall. NU finished 13th and 10th out of 15 squads in its first two competitions, but rebounded to capture its home tournament three weeks ago.

Wu said this second win has given the team confidence before they resume play in February at Big Ten Match Play.

“When we play well we know we can win any tournament we play in,” Wu said. “We had a rough start in our first two tournaments, but it was good to end the fall on a good note.”

Twitter: @benjyapelbaum