The Northern Illinois men’s golf team moved up two places into 14th on Saturday in the second round of the Florida Atlantic Spring Break Championship on the North Course at The Fountains Country Club.
Redshirt senior Griffin Bauman (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) is tied for 33rd overall in the tournament.
“We got off to a much better start than yesterday,” said NIU head coach Tom Porten. “We played the first stretch of holes much better but we got stuck a little bit, and lost our momentum, around the turn. We shot five-over on the front and 12-over on the back, a definite improvement over yesterday. We had a chance to shoot a really good score for most of the round.”
Central Florida holds the team lead with a 36-hole total of 571, eight strokes ahead of Hartford. Greg Eason of UCF is the individual leader at six-under, 136, through two rounds.
Bauman carded a three-over 39 on the front nine before a birdie three on No. 10, followed by eight consecutive pars to post a one-under 34 on the back for an overall 73, moving up 10 places from 43rd to 33rd.
NIU’s best round of the day was recorded by freshman Connor Nelson (Roscoe, Ill./Hononegah), a one-over 72. Nelson had three birdies, two bogies and one double bogey while moving up from 82nd to 57th individually.
“Connor led us today; I think he hit every fairway,” Porten said. “He didn’t hit his irons particularly well, but when he missed the green hit missed in the right spots and his short game execution was flawless. It was good to see him get comfortable in the lineup.”
Nelson is tied with senior Bryce Emory (Aurora, Ill./Marmion Academy) with a 36-hole total of 153, senior Kurtis Luedtke (Aurora, Ill./West) is four strokes behind the duo with a two-round total of 157.
“We saw the improvement today and I think that tomorrow we are going to play very well. Nick (Schiavi) and Bryce (Emory) had some trouble off the tee, but we had another good practice session (after the round) on the range and I think we will be fine going into tomorrow.
Sunday’s final round will begin at 7 a.m. CT, with the first Huskie tee time coming at 7:45 a.m. CT.
For more information on NIU men’s golf and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.