Men’s Golf: Daniel Svärd claims medalist honors, Northwestern finishes second at Big Ten Championship


Daily file photo by Esther Lim

Freshman Daniel Svärd hits the ball. Svärd is the 12th different Wildcat to win a Big Ten individual title.

Lucas Kim, Development and Recruitment Editor

For the second year in a row, a Northwestern golfer has won the individual Big Ten Championship.

Freshman Daniel Svärd earned medalist honors at this year’s tournament, tallying a 3-under 139 across 36 holes over the weekend. The championship’s last round, hosted at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey, was canceled due to inclement weather.

With the victory, Svärd became the 12th different individual Big Ten champion and 14th total in program history. In last year’s Big Ten Championship, then-senior David Nyfjäll became the first Wildcat to earn the crown since 2010.

Svärd was joined by Iowa’s Mac McClear at the top of the leaderboard, with both taking home a share of the title. This weekend’s result marked Svärd’s third top-two finish this year.

Teamwise, No. 28 NU finished in second place with a 9-over 577, 17 strokes behind champion No. 3 Illinois. The Cats entered the weekend having placed in the top five in nine of their last 10 tournaments dating back to last September.

The first round saw NU post a 14-over 298, good enough for six strokes behind the Fighting Illini.

Svärd was the squad’s leading performer from the start, carding an even-par 71 that included an eagle on the par-5 11th hole. He was only one of two golfers in the field to finish the first round at or below par. Nyfjäll added a 2-over 73 that brought the graduate student into a fourth-place tie individually.

Entering the second round, the Cats held only a one-stroke lead over third-place Wisconsin and was ahead of fourth-place No. 25 Ohio State by two strokes.

The team responded by firing a 5-under 279, an 19-stroke improvement from its first-round performance.

Svärd stepped up once again, tallying six birdies on the way to a 3-under 68 second round that moved him into first place.

Nyfjäll also showed out with a 2-under 69, moving the reigning Big Ten champion into a tie for ninth place.

Following the cancellation of the final round, NU ended with two players in the top 10 and three in the top 20, including senior James Imai, who finished 19th.

The result represented a step forward since last year, when the Cats finished fourth out of the 14-team field.

NU will wait until Wednesday to potentially hear its name called during the NCAA Selection Show for men’s golf regionals, which begins May 15. If the Cats place in the top five of their regional tournament, they will advance to the NCAA Championship starting May 26.

Last year, NU failed to move onto the championship after placing 11th at its regional tournament.

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Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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