Men’s Golf: Cats advance to NCAA Championships for the first time since 2011


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Ryan Lumsden lines up a putt while on the green. The junior finished the Columbus Regional at 2-under, the best score of any Wildcat.

Sophie Mann, Digital Managing Editor

Men’s Golf

After three days of intense play at NCAA Regionals, Northwestern will advance to the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the first time since 2011.

The Wildcats pushed past No. 25 Wake Forest, as well as a slew of unranked teams, to join four other teams from the Regional in Columbus, Ohio in advancing to the finals. In addition to NU, conference rival No. 12 Illinois and No. 1 Oklahoma State also advanced from the Columbus Regional. The Cats tied with the Cowboys and No. 13 Texas Tech for the best score on Wednesday.

NU’s top finisher at the end of Day 3 was junior Ryan Lumsden. He finished the day at 5-under and 2-under overall, tying for the fourth-best score of the tournament. Lumsden said after the heartbreak of barely missing the finals last year, the team was determined to not let history repeat itself.

Coach David Inglis recalled the narrow loss last year at Regionals as well, and said he was proud and excited about how far the team had come since.

“You have to learn from the difficult times,” Inglis said. “We’ve become a better team as the year’s gone on and that’s the encouraging thing. Just really proud of the guys and how hard they fought, and to produce some of their best golf today when it really mattered shows how far they’ve come.”

Both Lumsden and Inglis said they were excited for the seniors to get their first opportunity to play at the NCAA Championships. Seniors Dylan Wu and Sam Triplett finished in 16th and 42nd place respectively.

Triplett was named Second Team All-Big Ten this year and Academic All-Big Ten the previous two seasons. Wu, who was named to this year’s All-Big Ten First Team, has also been named Academic All-Big Ten twice and has had 19 Top 10 finishes in his collegiate career.

Wu said the course for the National Championships — Karsten Creek — is challenging, so playing hard, especially in such a tough field, will be vital.

“You really just have to stay patient and remember that every shot counts,” Wu said. “For me, it’s just doing the same thing I’ve been doing all four years in college: fighting for every shot possible.”

Inglis said if the Cats can improve even a little from practice this week, they will have a good chance at the title. Lumsden said that they have learned a lot even during the past few days of competition.

Keeping big numbers off their scorecards will be key to navigating a field of tough teams like the ones they’ll be facing, Lumsden said.

But, at the end of the day, just getting to the finals is a relief, Wu said. After a nearly decade-long finals drought, the Wildcats planto leave it all out on the course, he said — especially Triplett and himself, as they finish up their collegiate careers at Karsten Creek.

“Now we have nothing to lose; we can play our heart out,” Wu said. “We can just go out there and show people we can play against them. It’s definitely a great way to end my senior year.”

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