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Men’s Golf: Nyfjäll wins second straight title at UNCG/Grandover

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Men’s Golf: Nyfjäll wins second straight title at UNCG/Grandover

Everton Hawkins putts. The junior finished in 14th place.

Everton Hawkins putts. The junior finished in 14th place.

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Everton Hawkins putts. The junior finished in 14th place.

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Daily file photo by Alison Albeda

Everton Hawkins putts. The junior finished in 14th place.

Peter Warren, Sports Editor

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Men’s Golf


Freshman David Nyfjäll’s autumn did not start on the best note. He slumped to a 4-over-par finish at the Windon Memorial Classic and 5-over score at the Marquette Invitational.

But as the leaves began to fall, the only thing that fell for the Sweden native were his scores.

Nyfjäll tied for first at the Chatham Hills Invitational two weeks ago, and followed it up with his second-straight individual title at the UNCG/Grandover Collegiate in Greensboro, North Carolina this weekend.

“At the Windon I didn’t play too good but I knew (the game) was pretty close,” Nyfjäll said. “I thought maybe I would be able to squeeze in a top-10 or something and play some better golf…I didn’t think I was going to win once, but I won twice. It’s a bit of a surprise, but a nice one.”

Behind a 3-under third round, Nyfjäll outlasted UNCG’s Nick Lyerly — who imploded to a 5-over final — to win the individual title at 5-under.

Nyfjäll started his tournament with a 2-under round before shooting even-par in the second round. He was one of the top 10 golfers on both par three and par five holes.

“The first round and the third round was really good,” Nyfjäll said. “My driver was pretty good both rounds and I think that is the key to playing good for me — to hit good drivers.”

Nyfjäll became the third NU golfer to win the UNCG/Grandover Collegiate. Last season, Dylan Wu topped the tournament field while David Lipsky finished in first in 2010.

“Knowing that he was a really good player and I know he didn’t get off to the start he would have liked to his first few events — he just played average to not-that-great — but he just kept on sticking with it,” junior Everton Hawkins said. “Winning his first event wasn’t really a surprise, but winning two in a row is pretty impressive.”

As a team, the Cats finished in third place at 17-over. While NU placed in the upper echelon of the field, it was not contention for the title. UNCG finished 12 strokes better at 5-over and was nine strokes ahead of the Cats before the beginning of the final round.

Hawkins was the second highest finisher for NU, shooting 4-over to finish in 14th place. Senior Ryan Lumsden and freshman Lucas Becht also finished in the top 40.

One of the biggest question marks for the the Cats heading into the tournament was how they would adjust to playing bermudagrass. Inglis said that the team did not do a good enough job with the surface, but that it was a good experience for the golfers.

“We are going to play quite a bit of bermudagrass this winter and spring and there’s always the potential of playing on bermudagrass for NCAA Regionals so we have to be prepared for those type of things,” Inglis said. “I think this experience will help us in that regard, even though in the short term it wasn’t ideal.”

The UNCG/Grandover Collegiate is the last tournament of the fall for NU. The Cats now have a break of over 100 days before the return to the links for the spring season.

NU finishes the fall season with one team title, two more top-three finishes and three individual titles. While the finish was not was Inglis said he had in mind, it was still a good few weeks for the team.

“The encouraging thing for us was that our good golf was really good this fall,” Inglis said. That gives us a lot of encouragement and motivation to know that we can achieve what we want and accomplish our goals. But at the same time, we weren’t consistent enough.”

Email: peterwarren2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @thepeterwarren

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