Golf squad returns to ‘team’ play

By Jim Trentadue

The NIU men’s golf team recovered from a rough start last Friday to finish eighth out of 16 teams in its first tournament of the year, the Murray State University/McDonald’s Intercollegiate Tournament, last weekend in Murray, Ken.

The team started the 45-hole tournament by shooting a 308, which dropped them into 14th place after the first 18 holes on Friday.

According to head coach Jack Pheanis, bad weather and wet conditions on Friday affected the Huskies, as well as the whole tournament.

“We started off pretty rough but recovered fairly well,” Pheanis said. “Friday’s rainy weather really hurt the tourney and made it tougher. But everyone on the team had a better second 18.”

And indeed they did.

The Huskies shot a 292 for the second round and had tied eventual winner Louisville for the second lowest round of the day. Eastern Kentucky had the lowest round of the day with a 291.

The Huskies’ comeback in the second round was sparked by Mark Voeller’s 70, Derek Schoenhoven’s 73, Niclas Jenglov’s 74, Jason Samuelian’s 75 and John Larson’s 78.

Voeller, who led the team with a 182 for 45-holes, tied Mike Brumfield of Morehead State for fourth place among 80 individual golfers. Voyed Couey of Southern Mississippi was the top golfer, shooting a 176.

Although Voeller was pleased with his individual performance, he stressed the concept of golfing as a team.

“I was fairly pleased because I haven’t played well for a while,” Voeller said. “I felt this was a good start for the team because we have been playing as individuals for a while. We have to get back to playing as a team.”

NIU’s comeback fell short during the final nine holes as the squad shot a 155 securing them eighth place, one stroke ahead of Arkansas-Little Rock.

“If we could’ve played a full final 18, I believe we could have climbed a little higher in the standings,” Pheanis said. “But the important thing is that we’ve got a tournament under our belts and we should be ready to do our best on our home course (this) weekend.”