NIU (873, +9) finished a mere two strokes back of champion Oakland, earning a season-best second place standing. The Huskies posted a 291 in the second round to pass local programs Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
The team followed that effort up with an even-par final round, catapulting them past Mid-American Conference rival Ball State for another leaderboard position. The runner-up performance represents the Huskies’ best showing since their 2008 Davidson Invitational victory.
“This was a good recovery from just ten days ago, when we had a similar opportunity and fell to eighth,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “We always want to win, but we keep taking steps forward with what we are doing with this program. This is another step in the right direction. We righted the ship today and played really well out of the gate, had a shot to win it, but lost a few shots in the middles holes. We just grinded out a nice, even-par round. I’m real pleased with how the guys all performed, especially Jeff. He was flawless, played superb golf.”
For Dick (209, -7), earning medalist honors was the only appropriate way to cap off a phenomenal tournament.
One would be hard-pressed to find three sharper rounds of golf; Dick signed for 10 birdies and only three bogies this week. The veteran scattered his scoring, as he turned the rare trick of averaging red numbers on par threes, fours, and fives. Dick has placed an early-season slump in his rearview after tallying three straight top-20 finishes.
“This feels good. Got off to slow start this season, and it’s coming together right now,” Dick said. “We are coming together as a team. I just had to stay focused on how I was playing and not worry about other people. I thought if I played well, the rest would take care of itself. I stayed focused on my game and it all fell together.”
Dick’s second career victory is his second of 2010, with his first coming at the Branson Creek Invitational in April. At seven under par for the event, the Texan also shattered his previous best tournament-to-par mark of three under.
Freshman Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) bounced back strong after an opening-round 79 to claim a tie for 20th. Foley (221, +5) shot one-under over the day’s two rounds to climb 44 places up the leaderboard. The freshman sensation rolled in six birdies today en route to his strong finish.
Senior Tim Kay (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) earned a tie for 20th with Foley after an up-and-down day. Kay (221, +5) entered the second round at two-over par, only to see himself play the next nine holes at six over. Resiliently, the seasoned veteran torched the remaining 27 holes at Traditions Golf Club for six birdies. The finish is the senior’s best this year since coming off his spring redshirt.
Senior Andrew Frame (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) and sophomore Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) rounded out NIU’s scorecard with ties for 34th and 60th, respectively. Frame (224, +8) added another solid showing to a consistent fall campaign that has seen him place no worse than 43rd. Emory (231, +15) scored the Huskies’ lone eagle at the event on the par-five 16th in his second round.
Northern Illinois will wrap-up their fall season Monday, Oct. 25, and Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the St. Mary’s Invitational.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.