Wes Sanderson | Northern Star
DeKALB — Men’s golf finished 12 out of 18 Tuesday at the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate in Springfield, Missouri. The Huskies’ finished the 54-hole event with a +27, 879, 21 strokes behind Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, who took home the team title.
For the second straight tournament, NIU struggled early out of the gate, digging a hole that became too much to overcome.
“It was a disappointing, slow start to the tournament, but we finished strong today like we did in San Diego,” Head Coach John Carlson said.
After recording rounds of 296 and 295 Monday, the Huskies bounced back in the final round, locking in a four-over 288 on the last day.
“We did a better job today of avoiding the soft bogeys and three-putts we had the first two rounds,” Carlson said. “We drove the ball better today, and we attacked the par-fives much better today than on day one.”
Junior Tommy Dunsire recorded his first top-20 finish of the invitational season, with a five-over 218 for the 54 hole event. Graduate student Jordan Less finished one stroke back of Dunsire at 219.
Dunsire, Less, graduate student Michael Mattas and junior Reece Nilsen recorded final round scores of 72. On the front-9 of the course, the four finished a combined four-under par in the final round with Mattas tallying two birdies and an eagle alone.
The team recorded 34 holes of birdie-or-better golf for the tournament, but also 69 holes of bogey-or-worse scoring over the same time frame, so while experience and scoring show on the team, something seems to be missing.
“We have a talented team,” Carlson said. “We need to refocus our attention, from a scoring aspect, to make sure we’re continuing to drive the ball in the fairway.”
The next few weeks of preparation are key as NIU approaches April and the MAC Championships, so making sure everyone is dialed in at the forefront of preparation.
“Our short games are going to be something we have to rely on in the month of April and going forward into the championship season,” Carlson said. “That is something we’re going to hone in on for the next two-and-a-half weeks of practice.”
The Huskies return to the fairways April 9 at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas for the Aggie Invitational hosted by Texas A&M University.
The tournament is set to feature the second ranked University of Oklahoma, ninth ranked Texas A&M, 20th Texas Tech University and MAC rival Kent State University.