Men’s golf’s spring schedule is set, season tees-off March 8

Hole+on+golf+course+at+Rich+Harvest+Farms%2C+2330+Granart+Road+in+Sugar+Grove+with+yellow+flag.

Northern Star file photo

Rich Harvest Farms, 2330 Granart Road in Sugar Grove is home to NIU golf.

Wes Sanderson, Reporter

DeKALB — While snow covers the fairways at Rich Harvest Farms, home of NIU Men’s Golf, in Sugar Grove, things seem to be heating up leading into the Huskies spring golf season. 

Men’s golf released it’s 2021 spring schedule Wednesday. The team is set to tee-it up a guaranteed six times, with the opportunity to compete up to eight times this spring.

The team will start its quest towards a MAC Championship, and possible NCAA Regional berth, March 8 in Chula Vista, CA for the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic, hosted by San Diego State University. 

The Huskies will square off against the likes of the Ole Miss Rebels, UCLA Bruins, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, the California-Berkeley Golden Bears and San Diego State Aztecs. The San Diego Classic is going to host a total of 20 teams for the two-day invitational event.

The team will compete one more time in the month of March when they travel to Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, MO for the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate, hosted by Missouri State University beginning March 22. 

During the month of April, the Huskies will compete four straight weekends across the country. 

The team will start its run at Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, TX for the Aggie Invitational hosted by Texas A&M University. The SEC hosted tournament will run from April 9 to 11.

The Aggie Invitational will host 15 teams including the University of Oklahoma Sooners who are an annual national qualifying team. Along with the Sooners, NIU will compete against Texas Tech University, the University of Kansas, Baylor University and fellow MAC school Kent State University. 

From Bryan, TX, NIU will head west on Interstate-80 to Iowa City, IA for the Hawkeye Invitational at Finkbine Golf Club. From the Hawkeye Invitational, the team will travel to Columbus, OH for the Kepler Intercollegiate at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, OH.

The Kepler Intercollegiate, hosted by the Ohio State University Buckeyes, will hold a field that consists of the Buckeyes, University of Dayton Flyers, Purdue University Boilermakers, University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the University of Toledo Rockets.

All these tournaments will prepare the team for it’s two-day penultimate event; The Mid-American Championship. The MAC Championship will be held starting April 30 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, IN. The championship was scheduled to be held at Sycamore Hills in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the championship was canceled. 

The conference decided to push all championship host sites by one year, allowing Ball State University to still host the conference’s biggest event on the golf schedule. The team crowned MAC champions punches an automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Golf Regionals.

If the Huskies fare well throughout the season, or secure the teams first Mid-American championship since 1985, the NCAA Regionals are set to be contested May 10 at six locations across the U.S.The location is determined by seeding. 

The NCAA Finals are scheduled for May 28 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. Coverage of the championship will be available on Golf Channel.