Individually, freshman Thomas Dunne (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) leads the way for the Huskies, sitting in a tie for eighth after 54 holes.
NIU posted a team score of 298 (+10) on moving day. The round was the Huskies’ best of the tournament, putting them in position to make a late charge up the leaderboard in the final round.
At the end of play Saturday, NIU is two strokes behind Toledo for sixth place, while also holding a single-stroke advantage over Akron and Bowling Green.
“We had a great pairing today, Miami and Ohio showed how you can move from the bottom of the leaderboard up toward the top, they were really good,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “We had a chance to stay with them and move into that top-four, top-five, but we gave some shots away late in the round.
“Thomas (Dunne) keeps plugging away, keeps leading us. Kurtis (Luedtke) got his long game together, coming in with a solid round. Paul (Hammerschmidt) was our wild card, he made five birdies, but made too many bogies and shot a 76. We are moving closer to where we want to be, but with only one round to go the pressure is on to move to the front of the back. The opportunity is still there, only 11 shots separate second and ninth, anything can happen here at The Farm and we are going to find out tomorrow morning.”
Dunne turned in another admirable round at the revered track, shooting one-over-par 73.
The Dublin, Ohio native is four-over for the championship to hold eighth place. Dunne will be five strokes back of Toledo freshman Chris Selfridge heading into Sunday in the battle for MAC Freshman of the Year honors.
Dunne carded three birdies on his Saturday round and currently has the seventh-best scoring average on the par threes for the weekend.
Junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) followed Dunne’s 73 with a two-over 74 in his third round. The score moved him into 24th-place for the tournament and gives him momentum entering his final round.
Junior Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) checked in with a 75, good enough to hold onto 20th place. Juniors Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) and Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) fought on with a 76 and 80, respectively.
Sunday’s final round of the MAC Men’s Golf Championship will begin at 8 a.m. The Huskies will be paired with Akron and Bowling Green, taking to the tee between 8 and 8:40 a.m.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.