Men’s golf to end season at MAC Championships in Ohio

By Sam Bauman

On Friday the men’s golf team will look to win its first MAC Championship since 1985.

The Huskies will head to Nashport, Ohio, to compete in the championships and one positive going into the tournament is the fact that Longaberger Golf Course is well known to this Huskie team.

“It’s a course that several of our players are familiar with,” said head coach Tom Porten. “Griffin Bauman, Bryce Emory and Kurtis Luedtke all played there at the championship as freshmen.”

The Huskies hope their familiarity with the course works to their advantage as NIU needs that advantage when going up against the golf powerhouse that is Kent State. Kent State has won four straight MAC Championships, as well as winning 16 of the past 21. Porten realizes Kent State will be the team’s toughest competition.

“You can’t say MAC Championships without Kent State,” Porten said. “They are the dominant team in the conference,.They’re the favorites. They’re the team with the target on their backs.”

Porten is looking to his top two players to keep up their strong springs as they enter the championship.

“Bryce Emory and Griffin Bauman have both played well for periods during the spring,” Porton said. “Griffin had quite a bit of success at Longaberger three years ago where in two of the four rounds he shot it under 75. I look for both Bryce and Griffin to lead us to a strong finish at the championships.”

Bauman has played consistently well all spring for the Huskies. He is the only Huskie to start in every tournament this season and has boasted the lowest stroke-per-round average out of any Huskie at 75.6. The Huskies need Bauman to have the type of game he had at the Forest Hills Collegiate, which he finished tied for sixth.

The team will look for Emory to show the success he had at the Jim West Invitational, which he won. Emory’s play has dropped since that win, but should he golf like he did that weekend the Huskies will be in a good position to finish well.

If NIU can execute its game and have its top players play their best the Huskies should be in a good position to compete in this tournament.