The Huskies carded a final round 290 on Sunday at The Fountains Country Club, recording a 54-hole total of 853. No. 22 Florida State won the event with a team score of 829, Ohio State took second with 848.
Freshman Thomas Dunne (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) finished in a tie for seventh with a score of 211, junior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) finished just outside the top-10 with a 54-hole total of 212, tied for 11th. Bauman and junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West)each carded an even par 71 to lead the Huskies in Sunday’s final round.
“We had a couple of big numbers and we didn’t hit the ball close enough to the hole today and didn’t convert enough birdies,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “Griffin (Bauman) had run on the front nine to get under par and then just hung around all day. Thomas (Dunne) had a triple on 13 and missed a couple of short putts, we just didn’t have it in extremely windy conditions today but I am very proud of our team. There was no quit in our guys, we just didn’t have our ‘A’ game today.”
Florida State’s Brooks Koepka claimed medalist honors at 14 under-par, claiming the individual title by nine strokes.
Bauman had three birdies and three bogeys on the front nine to make the turn in even par 36, he then posted a steady back nine of nine-straight pars to finish the day even.
After a bogey on the second hole, Luedtke got as low as three-under par following a birdie on number three and a trio of birdies on nine, 10 and 11. Luedtke gave back those three strokes in the final six holes of the round to finish even par.
Junior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) and sophomore Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) also recorded counting scores for NIU with two over-par rounds of 73. Foley’s round included birdies on numbers one, seven and 11.
Although Dunne finished with a final round 75, he still collected the best finish of his collegiate career and his first career top-10 finish. Bauman’s 11th-place was his best placement of the season and the fifth top-20 of his NIU career.
“We gained a lot of great experience playing with one of the better teams in college golf, Florida State, two days in a row,” said Porten. “I think we come away from this Florida swing with a lot of momentum. We haven’t traditionally had a lot of success down here so to be top-five in back-to-back tournaments we feel like we accomplished something, even though we are disappointed to falling back a place today.”
NIU will return to action next Saturday and Sunday, March 31 to April 1, when it travels to the Irish Creek Collegiate in Kannapolis, N.C., hosted by UNC Charlotte.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.