The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Golf: NU readies to play at new Chatham Hills course

Eric McIntosh drives a golf ball. The sophomore finished in the top-10 at the Marquette Invitational.

Eric McIntosh drives a golf ball. The sophomore finished in the top-10 at the Marquette Invitational.

Alison Albelda/Daily Senior Staffer

Alison Albelda/Daily Senior Staffer

Eric McIntosh drives a golf ball. The sophomore finished in the top-10 at the Marquette Invitational.

Peter Warren, Sports Editor

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Men’s Golf

Northwestern’s first two tournaments of the 2018-19 season could not have gone any differently.

After a disappointing start three weeks ago, the Wildcats turned in an outstanding performance at the Marquette Intercollegiate to win the invitational.

“We were able to right the ship competitively at Erin Hills after a poor Windon so that was nice,” coach David Inglis said. “We are just trying to build off of that.”

The Cats’ next major opportunity to continue steering the ship in the right direction begins Sunday with the Chatham Hills Collegiate, NU’s third tournament of the season.

The tournament will be played at the Club at Chatham Hills, a new par-72 golf course in Westfield, Indiana. While construction on the course began in November 2014 and play began on the links in 2017, the full facility was only recently completed with the grand opening of the clubhouse this fall.

This is the first time NU will play at the course, meaning that the team does not have much information on how the course plays.

“Not too much expectation on exactly what it is going to be like when we get there,” Inglis said. “We will have to do a good job in the practice round.”

Chatham Hills is designed by legendary golf course designer and World Golf Hall of Famer Pete Dye. Dye has designed over 100 golf courses in his career — including TPC at Sawgrass, Whistling Straits and Crooked Stick.

Inglis said many of Dye’s courses can be harsh with penalties and feature a lot of water, but added that Chatham Hills appears to be “a little bit more playable.”

“We are just treating it like any other tournament,” junior Everton Hawkins said. “Trying to just play our best and get the best team result.”

NU will play Chathan Hills with the same lineup that it utilized at Erin Hills — Hawkins, senior Ryan Lumsden, sophomore Eric McIntosh and freshmen Lucas Becht and David Nyfjäll.

All five competitors finished in the top-25 of the Marquette Invitational, with Lumsden claiming the individual title and Becht and McIntosh both earning their first-ever top-10 finishes.

“We know we have the ability to go out as a team and shoot (12-under) on a US Open course,” McIntosh said.

Last season, the Cats followed up their first tournament championship at Windon with a second title at the UNCG/Grandover Collegiate to conclude the fall part of the season. Lumsden finished in the top-three at UNCG/Grandover and Hawkins ended tied for third at Windon.

NU still has one more tournament to play following Chatham Hills, the 2018 UNCG/Grandover Collegiate, before this campaign’s fall section concludes. But that does not mean the Cats are taking these tournaments lightly.

“The tournaments we play in the fall count just as much as the ones in the spring in terms of ranking and NCAA qualification,” Inglis said. “Every head-to-head win or loss is important. For us, it is really business as usual.”

Twitter: @thepeterwarren