Men’s golf lands in 9th at MAC Championships

By Steve Shonder

Men’s golf ended a tough season with a last place finish out of nine at the MAC Championships.

The Huskies scored a card of 1213 (308, 301, 305, 299) at the MAC Championships at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. Kent State, which finished with a card of 115 (286, 286, 282, 303), won the tournament for the sixth straight year.

Freshman Caulen Coe led the Huskies with a score of 298 (74, 71, 74, 77) and finished tied for 13th. Coe was tied for seventh heading into round four.

Struggles started early for NIU, which ended round one with a round-worst of 308. Head coach Tom Porten said the Huskies’ slow start left them in a deep hole that was almost impossible to get out of.

“We got off to a very sluggish start,” Porten said. “I think we were 17 over par on the first nine holes.”

Freshman Raphael Denais got off to a poor start, but he recovered well in the fourth round, finishing with a card of 302 (75, 78, 78, 71). Denais’ fourth round was good enough to leap from 35th to 26th place.

Junior Liam White found himself in a similar situation as Denais, but White made his successful adjustments in the second round, carding a 299 (79, 74, 74, 72). White finished the tournament tied for 17th.

Prairie View featured a difficult back nine which often left NIU scrambling to catch up.

“Every time we got close to passing a team, one of those holes on the back nine set us back,” Porten said.

Despite the poor finish to the season, Porten said the Huskies will be a much a stronger team next season, especially with one season under their belts.

“We were the youngest team [at the MAC Championships],” Porten said. “They gained some great experience at a conference championship. When they get back from the summer, they’ll be ready. I think the future is bright. There’s no substitute for experience in this game.”