Men’s golf hopes to bounce back from rough start

By Sean Anderson

NIU men’s golf is in 10th place after day one at the Pinetree Intercollegiate in Kennesaw, Ga.

The highlight of the first day was the continued strong play of sophomore Nick Huggins, who is tied for 30th place with a two-round total of 152.

Senior Bryce Emory lead the way for the Huskies in the first round, as he shot a 76 (+4). The rest of the team was all within three shots of Emory. Junior Shawn Foley shot a 77 (+5), senior Griffin Bauman shot a 78 (+6) while Huggins and sophomore Nick Schiavi both shot a 79 (+7).

The Huskies first round total was 310 (+22), which put them in eighth place. The host Kennesaw shot a 289(+1) which put them in first by five shots over fellow MAC opponent Ball State.

Coach Tom Porten said nobody on the team did well in the first round but could have been better if they would have finished stronger.

“We didn’t have anyone playing any great golf in the first round,” Porten said. Shawn Foley and Bryce Emory were playing fairly well. Bryce had a little rough finish to his round with a couple of double bogeys to come in.”

Huggins responded in the second round with a one-over par, 73, which was six shots better than his score earlier in the day.

The reason for Nick being where he is now is due to his short game said Porten.

“For Nick, he putted well all day,” Porten said “He didn’t play well his first nine, but drove it well the rest of the afternoon. He putted it much better in the afternoon, there were no three putts. He also took advantage of the short holes. He was very consistent all afternoon from tee to green.”

Huggins said he was capable of playing better than he did in the first round.

“I knew I could have played much better than I showed in the first round,” Huggins said. “I got off to a better start and started to hit my tee shots better. I wanted to make some birdies to get a low number. In round one, I was hitting all over the map and wasn’t really in the groove. I tried to eliminate those mistakes that I made in the first round.”

The Huskies would shoot five shots worse in the second round with a 315 and fall to 10th place while the host Kennesaw played even better. They shot seven shots better, shooting a 282 putting them in first place by 12 shots over Ball State.

Kennesaw is the only team under par as a team for the tournament with a 571 (-5). For individual play Kennesaw players sit in first and second, sophomore Jimmy Beck has a 137 and is in first place overall, leading fellow teammate senior Ben Greene by six shots with a 143.