Best round of season not good enough for men’s golf

By Jacob Onak

Finishing 14th out of 14 isn’t normally a good thing, but the fact that the men’s golf team set a new overall low score is something to cheer about.

At the Wolf Run intercollegiate the Huskies ended both days one and two in last place. NIU’s overall score of the tournament was a 968, while the University of Illinois, the tournament winner, scored an 844.

Despite the last-place finish, the Huskies have a lot of youth, and head coach Tom Porten realizes the situation his team is in.

“Overall, we took a baby step forward,” Porten said in a news release. “We have a lot of work to do inside 100 yards, but we are moving forward. You have to let this young team get experience, and we are going to be better and better each time we play.”

Out of 78 golfers, NIU didn’t have anyone finish in the top 50.

NIU’s best individual score came from freshman Pierrick Fillon. The Voreppe, France, native shot a final round 75 to bring his tournament total to 236.

The next Huskies to follow were Nick Huggins in 66th place and Liam White in 67th; they both ended with 244 in the tournament.

Porton realizes his new guys are getting used to the college golf game.

“Pierrick is getting much more comfortable with the style of golf course over here,” Porten said in a news release. “He is beginning to execute much more effectively with all phases of his game.

“Liam was a little unlucky; he had a double and a late triple. Outside of that he was much more in command of his long game. He hit the ball inside 15 feet the last four holes, but didn’t make any putts. The one green he missed he chipped in for birdie, so it was encouraging to see him start to play better and start to gain some confidence.”

Rounding out the NIU squad for the tournament was Jake Curwin and Braden Klaisle. Curwin ended in 75th place with a 252 and Klaisle finished the tournament in last place (78th) with a 259.

Shawn Foley played as an individual and wouldn’t have made much of a difference if he was part of the Huskies squad. The senior shot a 255 and ended in 76th place.

This year will be a trying time for the NIU golf team with Foley as the only senior. In order for the Huskies to be successful youth must prevail.