The Northern Illinois men’s golf team left Orlando Tuesday after posting 302, their best score in three rounds, at the Rio Pinar Invitational.
The Huskies salvaged an 18th-place finish, maintaining their 36-hole standing. Their 917 score over three rounds finished four strokes shy of overtaking Houston Baptist for 17th.
Redshirt senior Tim Kay (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett HS) provided the day’s fireworks for NIU, striking for four birdies on Central Florida’s home course. The Huskies’ most experienced player shot even-par 72 in his 117th collegiate round.
“I can’t say enough about Tim Kay,” NIU head coach Tom Porten said. “He played really solid golf the last two days. I really like the way he competed and played a very strong round today. He’s building some confidence going into the second half of the Florida swing.”
Senior Jeff Dick (Sherman, Texas/Sherman HS) rebounded from a disheartening 15 over on day one to shoot a 74. The Texan was even through 13 holes before giving a couple back to finish the day.
“Tim Kay played pretty well today and Jeff is grinding his way out of his mini-slump,” Porten said. “We just had a tough tournament, but we learned what we need to work on. We did a better job today at hitting the fairways in regulation. When we missed, we missed big and that cost us a shot here and a shot there. We couldn’t get any momentum going.”
Sophomore Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) rolled in a pair of birdies on an even-par front nine. He finished the tournament in a tie for 68th. Redshirt senior Andrew Frame (Manteno, Ill./Manteno HS) and freshman Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) battled through a second tough day in the Sunshine State.
The team will return for a short stay in DeKalb before heading back south for the second round of their Florida swing next Friday. They will then compete in Florida Atlantic’s Spring Break Championship, the Huskies’ only three-day event on the schedule.
“We have three good days of training ahead of us,” Porten said. “We will be ready to come back to Florida in a week and play better.”
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.