“It will be an excellent test of the depth of our roster as we compete twice this weekend, first in state at ISU then on to Ohio for the CSU Invite,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “We begin in Bloomington-Normal where we are playing in the D.A. Weibring for the first time and looking forward to the opportunity to continue to improve on our performance at Louisville. We have prepared well and are ready to challenge the Weibring layout.”
The Redbirds will host a large Midwestern contingent this weekend.
In addition to defending champion Illinois State and NIU, the 18-team field includes Akron, Bradley, DePaul, Creighton, Detroit-Mercy, Drake, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville, Loyola, Missouri State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, SIU-Edwardsville, and Western Illinois.
Six of those teams hold positions inside of Golfweek’s top 100 rankings going into this weekend. This creates the potential for the Huskies, with a strong finish, to break the century mark as well. NIU arrives in Normal, Ill. ranked 102nd out of 279 Division I men’s golf programs, already 85 spots better than their final rank for the 2009-10 season.
Leading NIU into play at Weibring Golf Club this weekend are senior Andrew Frame (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) and freshman Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North). Frame will tee off Saturday morning at even par for the season, having finished at one-under and one-over in his first two events. Foley will look to build on his phenomenal collegiate debut at last week’s Cardinal Intercollegiate, where he tied for 10th at one under par.
Rounding out NIU’s starting lineup at the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate are sophomore Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy), senior Jeff Dick (Sherman, Texas/Sherman) and senior Tim Kay (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett).
The Huskies will be challenging Weibring Golf Club, Illinois State’s home course named after Redbird alumnus and former PGA Tour pro D.A. Weibring. The par 71, 6,915-yard layout was built in 1962 and will play to a 72.7 rating.
Following the conclusion of play Sunday afternoon, the team will hit trek to Cleveland to play in Cleveland State’s CSU/Telich Sun Life Financial Golf Invitational on Monday, Oct. 4, and Tuesday, Oct. 5.
NIU will be a part of a 14-team field that includes Cleveland State, Appalachian State, Austin Peay, Cincinnati, IPFW, Oakland, Youngstown State, Malone, Ohio Wesleyan, Robert Morris, Wright State, North Dakota State, and St. Francis.
The Huskies’ lineup in Cleveland will feature sophomore Matt Gorman’s (Waunakee, Wis./Waunakee) fall debut, as well as junior Griffin Bauman’s (Crystal Lake, Ill./Crystal Lake Central) return to action after a 72nd place tie at the season-opening Marshall Invitational. The senior trio of Frame, Dick and Kay will play both events on the road trip and complete NIU’s squad in Ohio.
The team will have the privilege of playing one of America’s most historic championship venues, Canterbury Golf Club. The course, built in 1921, has hosted a number of major tournaments, including two U.S. Opens and Jack Nicklaus’ record-breaking 1973 PGA Championship victory. The par 71 traditional setup will play to 7,012 yards for this event.
“I wanted to give our seniors, Tim Kay, Jeff Dick and Andrew Frame, a chance to play at Canterbury, one of the great classic courses in America,” Porten said. “I hear the course is in outstanding shape. The greens are famous for their slope, speed and undulation so we will have to have our short games sharp to win. I expect us to be very competitive there.”
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.