The Northern Illinois men’s golf team will open the 2012 spring season on Monday, Feb. 13, when it begins competition at the Mid-American Conference Match Play at the South Course at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City, Fla.
The Huskies will begin with a matchup against Toledo in the first round beginning at 8 a.m. ET Monday.
“We had a great winter, in the weight room and at the indoor facility at Rich Harvest Farms, we have gotten a lot of work done,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “I think the team is coming together, we have a bit of a mix of veterans and youth this week and we are excited to play in a format that we have never played before.”
The NIU lineup will be led by junior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy), joined by freshman Thomas Dunne (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman), freshman Nick Schiavi (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), redshirt junior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central), junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) and junior Matt Gorman (Waunakee, Wis./Waunakee)
Porten singled out Bauman as a player to watch for NIU.
“Griffin has had a great winter and early spring. He shot 64 over two nine-hole roles recently. He shot 31 in a match and 33 in a match, by far the best he has ever played as a Huskie.”
Eight of the nine schools in the MAC will participate in the match play event, with only Kent State not appearing in Dade City. In the second round, scheduled for Monday afternoon, NIU will play either Ball State or Ohio. The final round of the tournament is scheduled to begin on Tuesday morning, Feb. 14, at 8 a.m.
Although the Huskies have never played the Lake Jovita course, the match play format neutralizes the importance of familiarity somewhat.
“They are going to play the course at close to 7,100 yards which should provide a good test. I like that for our team because I think we are one of the stronger, longer teams in the MAC,” said Porten. “Like all Florida golf courses it has quite a bit of water, quite a bit of sand and if the wind blows it will create quite a few challenges for the players.”
The Huskies will return to action with a match against Austin Peay on Friday, March 2 in Hopkinsville, Ky.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.