The Northern Illinois men’s golf team posted an opening round 282 to claim second place following the first day of play at the Florida Atlantic Spring Break Championship at The Fountains Country Club.
Freshman Thomas Dunne (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) carded a three-under par 68 in Friday’s opening round and will enter play on Friday tied for fourth individually.
“You never want to give up shots at the end of a round but I was really pleased with our team effort,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “Our game plan was to get off to a quick start, we did and we kept our momentum right through the day, we just had a couple of hiccups on the closing holes.”
The Huskies trail tournament-leading No. 21 Florida State by just two strokes, 280, heading into Saturday’s second round. Of the eight eagles posted in Friday’s first round, three were carded by NIU. Dunne is just one stroke off the individual lead of 67 recorded by Florida State’s Brooks Koepka, Jacksonville State’s Tom Robson and Xavier’s Chris Burger.
“Thomas was fantastic,” said Porten. “He just keeps getting better with every round that he plays. He has continued to improve his shot-making.”
Dunne recorded a pair of birdies and a pair of bogeys on the front side, making the turn at even par. He then birdied two of the first three holes on the back nine and finished with a birdie on the par-three 18th to turn in a round of 68.
Sophomore Shawn Foley (Pewaukee, Wis./Waukesha North) carded an eagle on the par-two second hole before finishing his front nine in even par. Foley fired a one-under 34 on the back nine to finish with a one-under 70, tied for 10th after the opening round.
Junior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) was bogey-free through the first 16 holes of the day, carding birdies on the second and 11th, before dropping a shot on both 17 and 18 to finish with an even-par 71, tied for 19th overall. Junior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) was also even through 15 holes before dropping a pair of shots in his final three holes to post a 73 while junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) was as low as four-under par on his round before finishing with a 75. Luedtke is a tournament-best four-under on the par fives after one round.
“We are very excited for tomorrow, we are excited to be playing with Florida State, one of the top programs in the country, and hopefully we can get off to a fast start again,” said Porten. “There is a really low number out there tomorrow, we just have to continue to execute, be patient and keep the ball in play.”
The Huskies, who will begin to tee off at 10 a.m. today, are paired with Florida State and Florida Gulf Coast.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.