Junior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) recorded his best collegiate tournament finish, tying for eighth, helping lead the Northern Illinois men’s golf team to a tie for fourth-place at the COG Mizzou Intercollegiate.
The Huskies posted a final round score of 298 to finish the 54-hole event with a total of 887, tied with IUPUI.
Host Missouri won the team title for the second consecutive season with a total score of 856, the Tigers’ Ryan Zech took individual medalist honors with an eight-under score of 208.
“We struggled out of the gate again today,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “Four, five and six are difficult holes and we just never figured them out. But we rebounded after that start and we were fortunate to move up a spot. We keep getting better, we went 2-0 against the Big Ten and we had another step in the right direction.”
Luedtke posted his third-straight round of one-over 73.
Starting on No. 4, Luedtke was three-over through four holes before making a birdie on the par-five ninth hole. Luedtke pared six of his first seven on the back nine, but a bogey on the 12th left him three-over heading to No. 17. Three consecutive birdies on 17, 18 and one brought Luedtke back to even par until he gave back one stroke to finish with his third 73 of the tournament.
“He hit the ball well enough to win the tournament,” Porten said. “He had a rough start, he had two three-putts in the first three holes but he dug in, started to work his reads and just got out of his own way a little bit, mentally. He made a putt on nine, he had a couple more chances and then he drove the green on No. 17 (to start a string of three-straight birdies). It was a real consistent performance from Kurtis and we are very pleased with the way he played.”
Luedtke’s previous best career finish was a tie for 16th at the Oral Roberts Shootout in September of 2009, his previous best this season was last time out when his tied for 26th at the Irish Creek Collegiate.
Junior Paul Hammerschmidt (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) also recorded the best collegiate finish of his career. Hammerschmidt fired a final round 75 to finish alone in 18th, bettering his previous best of tied for 21st at the 2010 Branson Creek Invitational.
With a final round 77, junior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) also earned a top-20 finish, tying for 19th. It was the sixth career top-20 finish for Bauman.
Junior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) bounced back from a tough second 18 yesterday and a slow start to today’s round to finish with a one-over 73.
Emory began the day on the sixth hole and found himself three-over through two before finding his rhythm, finishing with three birdies and just one bogey in his final 16 holes.
NIU will be back in action next weekend, April 21-22, when the Huskies travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to participate in the Boilermaker Invitational.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.