Men’s golf struggles at Missouri

James Krause

The men’s golf team started off strong in the Missouri Tiger Invitational, but mistakes late in the tournament led to a 12th place finish at 29-over-par.

The team started the tournament with a 290 first round, tied for sixth best in the round out of the field of 19 schools. However, mistakes started to pile up as NIU followed with a second round of 296 and final round of 307, the second worst score of the final round.

Head Coach Tom Porten said he and the team we’re happy with its effort and early performance.

“It’s kind of two sides of the coin,” Porten said. “The first two rounds I thought we played pretty good team golf. We thought we had a little bit of momentum going into the final round.”

The flip side of th coin isthe team struggled in the final round with par fives. On par five holes, NIU finished an overall 11-over-par during the tournament, 14th worst in the field.

“We did not execute early,” Porten said. “A lot of the par fives in the early round we did not take

advantage of. The key to being competitive here is taking advantage of par fives.”

Weather at The Club at Old Hawthorne Golf Course in Columbia, Missouri moved the start time of the tournament back on Monday, and darkness forced half of the second round to be moved to Tuesday.

Porten said the team really struggled with adjusting to weather and practice outdoors may help the team deal with windy conditions.

“We struggled as it got cold last night until the sirens aired that stopped play,” Porten said.

The team’s best individual finish came from junior Thomas DeMarco (70-71-76 — 217) who finished tied for 17th and three-over-par.

The team will have a quick turn aroundbefore its next tournament. The Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Golf Course in West Lafayette, Indiana starts Saturday. This leaves the team a shortened week to fix any issues they have.

Porten said the team will adjust to the schedule and work to fix out any kinks in its game.

“We’ve got some things to work on skillswise,” Porten said. “We’re going to work on that as much as we can the next couple of days and see. We’re going to an event we feel we are really contenders.”

Porten also said there may be adjustments to the group that plays in Indiana this weekend to give the team new life and the best chance to win.

“With the shortened time, we’re going to make some changes to the lineup,” Porten said. “We’ll see if that can’t jump start us a little bit. I want to put my best five hitters out there.”