Men’s golf places last at Hawkeye Invitational

By Steve Shonder

Men’s golf wasn’t able to get anything going over the weekend as it placed 12th of 12 at the Hawkeye-Great River Entertainment Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Huskies put up a card of 918 (311, 302, 305) over the weekend, with their best round coming on Saturday when they finished at 302, only 14 over par. Despite finishing in last place, the Huskies did not have the lowest score in any round.

Host Iowa won the match with a score of 853 (286, 282, 285). Iowa State and Minnesota finished second and third with scores of 868 (297, 287, 284) and 870 (290, 284, 296), respectively.

Individually, Iowa’s Steven Ihm, Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez and Minnesota’s Jose Mendez finished in first, second and third. They finished with scores of 209 (69, 71, 69), 211 (72, 70, 69) and 213 (70, 67, 76), respectively.

Freshman Caulen Coe put up a three-round score of 230, which placed him tied for 47th. Coe was consistent all weekend, scoring 76, 77 and 77 in each respective round.

Junior Liam White tied Coe for the team lead, scoring 76, 78 and 76 in each respective round. Freshman Raphael Denais struggled in the first round — scoring 83 — before recovering in the second round, putting up NIU’s highest individual round score at the match, 72, finishing at even. Denais ended with a 233 (83,72,78).

The poor showing continued the Huskies’ spring season woes. Their best finish this season came in their first match, when they landed in fifth place at the Forest Hills Collegiate March 1.

NIU’s struggles started in the first round Saturday when it put up a score of 311, just ahead of DePaul’s 312 score. The Huskies improved in the second round, scoring a 302, the 11th-best score in the round, but it wasn’t enough to keep them out of last place.

“The tale of the tape [Saturday] was a bad start in the morning, a bit of a recovery and then a tough finish,” said head coach Tom Porten, according to a news release. “We started better in the afternoon; [Denais] had an eagle late in his round to come back to even-par, but [Coe had] a bogey and a double in his last two holes to spoil a pretty good round.

The Huskies started the third round three strokes behind DePaul and just six strokes behind Nebraska. NIU’s performance in the third round, scoring a 305, wasn’t enough to help it leap frog DePaul or Nebraska. The Huskies’ 305 tied them for 10th with Denver University.