Tough Marshall Invite awaits NIU

By Fred Konrath

After a nearly a month away from the greens, the NIU men’s golf team tees up this weekend at the 23rd Annual Marshall University Invitational.

The Invite, an 18-team field that features the majority of the Midwest’s top collegiate teams, starts today at 7 a.m.

The two-day tournament continues Saturday at 7:30 a.m.

The obstacle, 54 holes on the demanding and challenging Guyan Golf and Country Club Course—a 6,408-yard layout that plays much tougher than its par 71, is one the Huskies have encountered before.

Last year, NIU finished ninth out of an 18-team field. Mark Voeller had the top individual finish for the Huskies last year with a 222, nine shots over par for the course.

Huskie head coach Jack Pheanis feels his linksters can do well in the tourney—as long as they have confidence in themselves and can overcome their lack of time outdoors this season.

“We really need to start believing in ourselves,” Pheanis said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind our guys are capable of finishing in the upper half of a great field, but we need some confidence, and more time outdoors,” he added.

Ohio State University, a perennially dangerous squad, will be defending its 1991 title at the meet. The Buckeyes have captured 13 Marshall championships after narrowly beating Kent State University by one stroke for last season’s title.

Kent State won the Marshall title in 1990 and figure to be strong contenders for the title along with fellow Mid-American Conference foe Miami (Ohio) and the host Marshall squad.

Huskie linkster Jason Samuelian had the top NIU finish in its last outing—the Palm Coast Invitational on March 22.

The invite was the spring opening tourney for the Huskie linksters.

Samuelian carded a 232 for the 54 holes.

NIU finished 13th out of the 24 teams in the field with a 943.

The University of Louisville took the team title at the Palm Coast Invite with a 902 tally.