Senior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) of the Northern Illinois men’s golf team earned the individual title at the Jim West Intercollegiate at the TPC Craig Ranch on the third playoff hole over TCU’s Sarosh Adi.
Emory carded a final round 73 for a 54-hole total of 216 en route to winning the title.
The Huskies took 10th place in the team standings with a team total of 925; Vanderbilt won the team title with a total of 885. Emory’s individual crown is the first of his career and the first for NIU since Jeff Dick won Cincinnati’s Bearcat Invitational on October 12, 2010.
“Team-wise, it was a hard golf course, you had to drive it well and you had to have command of the putter,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten.
“Connor (Nelson) helped us today and Griffin (Bauman) really battled to shoot his 77, but the story was all Bryce. He had a double bogey to open his round but it didn’t faze him, he was in command all day and I couldn’t be happier for him. Hopefully this is a good stepping-stone for the stretch run.”
Starting the day with a two-shot lead, Emory gave those strokes back with a double bogey on his first hole of the day, the par-four 14th.
After responding with five-straight pars, Emory birdied the No. 2 and bogeyed No. 4, still leaving him +2 on the day. Two more pars were followed by back-to-back birdies on No. 6 and No. 7 to bring Emory back to even-par. He then gave back a shot on his 17th hole of the day, No. 12, and Adi made back-to-back birdies on the final two holes to force a playoff.
In the sudden-death playoff, Emory and Adi each opened with a par on the 18th hole. The duo then went to the 10th where a pair of bogies meant the playoff would return to No. 18.
On the par-five 18th in the third playoff hole, Emory used his length off the tee to put him in good position to hit a second-shot wedge to within 15-feet. Emory two-putted from there and claimed the title with a birdie.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Emory said. “(Adi) finished birdie-birdie; he made a 25-foot putt on the last hole that meant I had to make a 20-footer just to have a playoff. The playoff was even more nerve-wracking but luckily I was able to grind it out for the win. My mom and dad made the trip down and I had some other family here too, so it was great to win with all of them here to see it.”
Redshirt senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) shot a final round 77 to finish with a 54-hole total 234, tied for 46th overall. Freshman Nelson (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah) had his second-best round of the tournament on Tuesday with a final round 79 to finish tied for 52nd with a total of 237.
The Huskies will return to action next week as they stay local in the Chicagoland area, playing Monday, April 15, and Tuesday, April 16, in Northwestern’s Kemper Sports Intercollegiate at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.