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Men’s Golf: Northwestern looks to win at The Prestige at PGA West

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Men’s Golf: Northwestern looks to win at The Prestige at PGA West

Everton Hawkins lines up a putt. The sophomore and his team will participate at The Prestige this week.

Everton Hawkins lines up a putt. The sophomore and his team will participate at The Prestige this week.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Everton Hawkins lines up a putt. The sophomore and his team will participate at The Prestige this week.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Everton Hawkins lines up a putt. The sophomore and his team will participate at The Prestige this week.

Peter Warren, Web Editor

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Men’s Golf


Northwestern is already an esteemed program. Over the next few days, it will look for something more tangible — Prestige.

Specially, a championship at The Prestige at PGA West in La Quinta, California, this week.

The three-day, three-round tournament will have some of the best teams in the country going toe-to-toe at the Club at PGA West.

Three of the last four NCAA champions will be in the tournament field — LSU, Oklahoma State and Oregon. And seven of the top 30 finishers at last year’s NCAA Championship — Arkansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and the Wildcats — will be in the field.

NU is coming off a disappointing start to its spring at the Big Ten Match Play Championship, finishing in eighth place and failing to win one of its three matchups. Coach David Inglis said the team was not ready to compete, but the competition can be treated as a learning experience.

“It was disappointing not to have better results, but from a training perspective it was all good reps,” Inglis said. “Ultimately it will move us further along.”

At last year’s tournament — which was only two-rounds due to high winds on the first day — NU finished in sixth place, ahead of Southern California and Iowa State. Senior Ryan Lumsden had tied for tenth place at 1-over-par.

The Prestige at PGA West will be played on the Greg Norman Course, the newest links at the La Quinta club. Designed by the two-time Open Championship winner, the course is not an easy one. It features water on half of its holes, tight fairways and 102 bunkers.

Most of the teams in the tournament come from warm-weather locations, giving them an advantage over the Cats, who have been practicing indoors all winter. Senior Pete Griffith said working indoors gives plenty of time to work on mechanics, which he said is a good thing.

“For us we are just coming out of the time of the year where a lot of us are working on our mechanics,” Griffith said. “But it’s also a time, this time of year in particular, where we need to begin to transition from the mechanical side of things to being able to take those games outdoors and compete.”

Inglis said the message of practice this week was going to be about taking advantage of their time at practice. Inglis said NU’s “No. 1 sustainable advantage” is maximizing its time at practice, as well as being more efficient and doing a better job than any other player or program in the country.

While the spring may not have started the way he expected it, Griffith said he feels the start does not reflect where the team is at or where the team will be at the end of the season.

“All of our guys games right now are in a position to have a really good spring season like last year,” Griffith said. “I know that we are all planning on having a better spring season than last year. We all just feel really good about out games.”

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

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