The Northern Illinois men’s golf team sits in 16th after Friday’s first round of the FAU Spring Break Invitational on the North Course at The Fountains Country Club.
Senior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) leads the way for the Huskies with a opening round two-over 73, tied for 18th overall.
NIU carded a team total of 311 in the opening round of the event; Hartford leads the way after totaling 285 in Friday’s first 18 holes. Hartford’s Evan Russell is the individual leader through round one, he shot an opening three-under 68.
“It’s tough when you start out of the gate the way we did. Our first three players all hit a ball of our bounds on the first hole, so we were behind the eight-ball almost before we got started,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “The devil was in the tee shot, we had eight (tee shots) hit out of play and we played defensively from that point on.”
Emory’s 73 turned out to be the highlight of the day for the Huskies. After a double-bogey on the third hole, Emory was steady through the remainder of the front nine, collecting six-straight pars to make the turn in two-over 38. Seven more pars, along with a birdie and a bogey, gave Emory an opening round 73.
“Bryce’s round was very consistent,” said Porten. “He hit a ball out of bounds on the third hole but he made eight pars on the front and seven more on the back. He had look after look (at birdie) and nothing went in with the putter or that round could have been much better.”
Senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) was just one-over after a birdie on No. 15, but gave back four strokes in the final three holes to finish with a five-over 76, tied for 43rd overall.
“We are struggling with our execution off the tee in the last two tournaments, but we have the bulk of this tournament ahead of us and we are going to come back tomorrow and climb back into this thing.”
The Huskies will return to play Saturday, March 30, in the second round of the FAU Spring Break Invitational. NIU will tee off in the first group of the day at 7:30 a.m. CT.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.