Men’s Golf: Northwestern puts up mixed performances in March tournaments


Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Eric McIntosh drives a golf ball. The sophomore led the team last weekend with a 19th place finish at The Goodwin.

Troy Closson, In Focus Editor

Men’s Golf

After two mixed showings for Northwestern last month, consistency is the biggest priority for the Wildcats heading into this weekend’s competition.

NU ended its spring break tied for ninth place in The Goodwin’s 27-team field at Stanford, besting a number of similarly ranked teams including No. 40 Florida, No. 47 Arizona and No. 50 Saint Mary’s.

But coach David Inglis said he felt just “okay” about the team’s performance.

“It was kind of a break even,” Inglis said. “You feel like you maybe held your own, but you didn’t really gain any ground.”

When the tournament’s first day wrapped up, the Cats sat in eighth place and one stroke out of a fifth-place tie. But after senior Ryan Lumsden and freshman Lucas Becht both shot 6-over-par on day two, the Wildcats fell back to 14th place. That was despite sophomore Eric McIntosh shooting 1-under to tie his personal 18-hole best.

Both Lumsden and Becht rebounded on the final day though — with Becht shooting a team-best 1-under for the afternoon — to move NU up to ninth, three shots behind eighth-place Santa Clara and just one shot clear of thirteenth-place San Jose State.

Inglis added that with McIntosh — who ended the weekend with his third top-25 finish of the season — stepping up, the team will look for Lumsden and freshman David Nyfjäll to return to their consistency of the fall.

“I feel like we’re poised and in a good position to have perhaps a championship season. We’ve definitely got the firepower at this point,” Inglis said. “It’s just a matter of exhibiting the behaviors that great players do every day so we’re ready to compete.”

Earlier in the month, Nyfjäll finished in eighth place overall at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, carding even-par for the three-day tournament. His performance — along with three other top-25 finishes from NU golfers — helped the Cats notch fourth place overall.

Before the break, Lumsden was also one of five collegiate golfers named a finalist for the Byron Nelson Award. The Golf Coaches Association of America distinction recognizes a nominee’s “entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as his character and integrity while in college.”

“Just to be named and to be in contention for an award that shares his name, that’s a pretty special thing,” Lumsden said.

He’s the fifth Cats golfer to be selected as a finalist, following Dylan Wu’s consideration last year. But the honor’s never gone to an NU athlete, and the Scotland native won’t find out the winner until April 23.

Before then, it’s a trip to Middle Tennessee for the three-day Mason Rudolph Collegiate.

It’ll be the team’s first time in the tournament, but McIntosh said he’s excited to play on some new links.

“We just need to be a little bit tighter overall,” the Scottish golfer said. “We’ve never been here before, so we don’t know what to expect. So I’m just going to try to have as much fun as I can and keep trending in the same direction.”

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