Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Men’s Golf: Northwestern mounts huge comeback, captures runner-up finish at Cal Poly Invitational

Daily file photo by Esther Lim
Sophomore Daniel Svärd hits the ball. Svärd tied for sixth individually at the Cal Poly Invitational earlier this week.

After a rough first 18 holes, Northwestern fired off consecutive rounds of dominant play to finish tied for second at the Cal Poly Invitational. The event wrapped up its fall season.

Despite frost and darkness delays altering the tournament’s schedule, the Wildcats stayed composed to card a 16-under 848, five strokes behind first-place California.

Originally, 36 holes were scheduled for Monday and 18 for Tuesday, but a one-hour frost delay on Monday morning cut the second round short, forcing teams to complete the round on Tuesday. NU was fortunate to regain its poise before the first day ended, following its sluggish start coach David Inglis said.

“I think it was really important that we had that good start to the second round,” Inglis said. “You just always have to be prepared and be adaptable. In the end, everybody’s dealing with the same factors, so it’s about who deals with them the best.”

It was a troublesome first round for the ‘Cats, who tallied a 6-over 294 — good enough for 12th place out of the 15-team field.

Junior Cameron Adam (–1) was the only NU player to finish below par over the first 18 holes, which left the squad at a major disadvantage heading into the rest of the competition. The team racked up bogeys and struggled with putting from the very beginning, Inglis said.

“Slow start, and we didn’t get any favors starting on the fourth hole, which ended up being a logjam as the day went on,” Inglis said. “A very difficult pin position, right on the edge and was causing a lot of problems.”

Luckily for the ‘Cats, a fast start to the second round carried over into the next day, resulting in a 9-under 279 for a 15-stroke improvement over the prior round.

The sophomore duo of Ethan Tseng and Daniel Svärd led the way with a 4-under 68 and 3-under 69, respectively, while Adam followed at 2-under.

However, the impressive round still wasn’t enough to get NU over the hump as the squad remained in 10th place entering the final round. It would take a heroic effort for the ‘Cats to avoid a second straight tournament finish outside the top 10.

But they did just that. Logging a tournament-best 13-under 275, NU jumped eight spots to tie for second place with UCLA following the final hole.

Svärd continued his excellent play with a 6-under 66 and Adam pitched in with a 4-under 68. Graduate student James Imai, who had had a quiet tournament up until that point, but also contributed with a 3-under 69.

“The guys came to play on the last day. Obviously really proud of (Svärd) who played a great final round. (Adam) did as well,” Inglis said. “That was probably the most pleasing thing. Just being able to show up when you really needed a good run. We were able to turn it around and actually beat a bunch of good teams.”

By the tournament’s end, both Svärd and Adam finished tied for sixth place individually at 7-under, while Tseng tied for 15th.

The invitational marked the end of the team’s fall season, which included three top-5 finishes out of five total tournaments. With a relatively young roster, Inglis is hopeful that these results will serve as learning experiences and carry into the spring season with even more consistency.

“We’ve just got to be a little bit more mature and control our emotions when our golf isn’t quite firing on all cylinders,” Inglis said. “But we have a talented team, and our good golf has certainly shown flashes of playing at a level that could be really good.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lucaskim_15

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