The Northern Illinois men’s golf team posted its low round of the season, a 286 in the second round, as the Huskies took second-place in the one-day, 36-hole Forest Hills Collegiate at Forest Hills Golf Club.
Host Augusta State, the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division I National Champions, claimed the tournament crown with a team score of 570, six-under par.
Senior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) led three Huskies finishing in the top-10, Emory posted an even-par 144 to take fifth. Redshirt senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) was one stroke back of Emory with a one-over 145, finishing in a tie for sixth, and senior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) was just a stroke back of Bauman with a two-over 146, tied for 10th.
South Carolina-Upstate’s Brad Still took individual medalist honors with a eight-under 136.
“I was really pleased with our effort, in particular the seniors, they carried the day,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten.
“I was really happy to see Bryce (Emory) play well. Griffin (Bauman) carried us on his back most of the fall, and he played well today. Kurtis (Luedtke) followed up what he did in Florida (at the Mid-American Match Play). He didn’t hit it real well this morning but he caught fire this afternoon with six birdies and an eagle. He made a few bogies in there but he is really starting to gain confidence in his game and it is starting to show.”
Playing in extremely soggy conditions, Emory and Bauman helped get the Huskies off to a solid start with first round 73’s as the Huskies totaled 300 in the opening 18, finishing round one in fourth-place.
In the second round of the day, Emory and Bauman both bettered their first round scores, Emory firing a second round 71 with Bauman carding a second round 72. Luedtke was the low Huskie in the second 18, turning in a two-under 70, the best round of the tournament for the Huskies, as NIU gained two places to claim second.
The second-place team finish is NIU’s best finish since taking second at the Cincinnati Invitational in October of 2010.
“I know we made at least 15-16 birdies in the afternoon as a team, which you like to see,” said Porten. “In February, for us to come down on to a grass we aren’t very comfortable on, Bermuda, and we able to execute the way we did with wedges, and convert the putts, was outstanding. A lot of good was gained by making the trip down here.”
Northern Illinois will resume its spring slate next month when the Huskies travel to the Mission Inn Spring Spectacular in Howey in the Hills, Fla. The two-day event will begin on Saturday, March 16.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.