Men’s Golf: Northwestern finishes 12th in Southern Highlands Collegiate


Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

A golfer finishes their swing. Northwestern held onto its top-50 ranking despite two middling performances.

Kyle Leverone, Assistant Sports Editor

It was an average week for Northwestern at the Southern Highlands Collegiate tournament, where the Wildcats finished even-par with a team total of 864 across three days of play.

And even-par is exactly that: average. NU didn’t do anything exceptionally incredible, nor did they do anything exceptionally horrible. Even-par isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it doesn’t help when playing against eight of the country’s top-35 teams.

No. 1 Oklahoma fired a team total of 38-under par. In one word: incredible. In second place, Pepperdine followed the Sooners by seven strokes, finishing 31-under par. Still pretty spectacular. 

The other six top-35 teams packed the leaderboard, all finishing eighth or better. The Cats were the only top-35 ranked team to finish outside the top 8 of this tournament. 

NU started the tourney off by shooting a mediocre 3-over par in Round One. However, they superseded that score with a 6-under in Round Two. Only two teams shot better than NU on the second day — not even Oklahoma. But, as Round Three came around, if you’ve been following along, you can do the math and conclude NU finished the tournament with another 3-over in the final round.

Among such top-tiered talent, even-par just didn’t get the job done.

Just like his performance in The Prestige tournament, senior David Nyfjäll emerged as the team’s prominent contributor, turning out a 3-under to finish tied for 26th. First-year Cameron Adam, who has provided important input for the Cats in the past couple of tournaments, finished 1-over, tied for 32nd. 

The other three participants for NU, junior James Imai and graduate students Eric McIntosh and Varun Chopra, ended in the red or black — or whatever color you want to use to describe over-par. 

No, the Cats didn’t play terribly, but 12th out of 15 teams is below average, and NU has performed better than this Las Vegas outing. Before this tournament, the Cats finished in the top-half of every contest this year, including the fall portion of the season. 

Yes, every tournament they play seems to include high-caliber teams, but NU itself is — or was, rather — a top-35 team. Granted, they dropped five ranks to 40th, but this team can do a lot better than what they put out in the Southern Highlands Collegiate. 

The Cats have a couple weeks off until their outing at The Goodwin tournament in Palo Alto, California. But for now, in regard to their play, NU should adhere to the old Las Vegas adage: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

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Twitter: @KLever0ne15

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