High marks lead to disappointing end


While participating at a tournament hosted by Northwestern University Monday and Tuesday, the NIU men’s golf team found themselves up against the best of the best.

The field was graced by six of the top 20 teams in the nation, including last year’s top team, the University of Arizona.

NIU was invited to the tournament by one of head coach Jack Pheanis’ former standouts, Jeff Mory, who is now the head coach for Northwestern’s squad.

The Huskies’ tournament highlight was their first round total of 306 which put them one stroke ahead of Arizona.

NIU was led by Jason Samuelian who finished the first round of play with a 74, just two above par for Royal Melborne. He fell back in the next two rounds, posting a 77 and 79 respectively, to end the tourney with a 230.

Samuelian’s 79 in round three was characteristic of the team’s performance on Tuesday.

“Basically we collapsed today, it’s frustrating,” Pheanis said.

NIU’s performance was frustrating because they just came off a good tournament at Illinois State University and hoped to finish their season on a similar note.

The third round of play took place at Kemper Lakes (par 72), which, like Royal Melborne, is a course used for PGA events. Pheanis described the course as the toughest his team has played on since he began his coaching career here at NIU in 1968.

John Larson came in for the Huskies with a 76 for round one, an 83 for round two, and finished the final round with a 79 for a 238 total for the tourney.

Andy Podolak ended the tournament just two strokes behind Larson with a 240, posting a 77, 78, 85.

Niclas Jinglov came away with a 76, 83, 84 to finish with a 243 for the tournament.

To round out the group was Derek Schoonhoven who struggled throughout the tournament. He posted a consistent 88, 86, 88 to finish with a 262.

The toughest thing for Pheanis was to see his team struggle because he knows that they are capable of better play.

“I think we’re just better than we played today,” Pheanis said.

NIU will be looking back on their performance at the ISU tournament to build on for their spring season.