Men’s golf place 12th in weather-shortened Badger Invite

Sophomore Ben Sluzas ties for best individual score in tournament


Wes Sanderson

Freshman Ben Sluzas hits off on Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California. NIU competed in the Saint Mary’s Invitational from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, finishing in 17th place. (Wes Sanderson | Northern Star)

DeKALB — The men’s golf team competed in their first event of the season on Sunday, kicking off a three-day-long Badger Invitational, where they finished 12th place after being in fourth place the round prior. The final score for the Huskies was an even par, while the winners of the tournament Texas A&M finished 20 under par.

The tournament saw windy weather conditions and rain that made it difficult to play. This affected the tournament as a whole as they had to omit the first round of play.

“We handled the adversity that the weather threw at us,” head coach John Carlson said. “Every team had the same conditions and complications.”

Despite the weather conditions, sophomore Ben Sluzas weathered the storm, and in the end hoisted the individual championship for NIU.

Sluzas was one of the most highly recruited golfers in the history of NIU, and had come in as the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Illinois.

“He’s lived up to his doing,” Carlson said. “He’s coming off a really strong summer of playing and finishes. To win your first tournament, and really to win in college golf, it’s not easy. To do it early in his second year, he proved to himself that he can go out and play with some of the best players in the country.”

While Sluzas won the individual championship, NIU finished 12th place in the tournament.

“We need to have all five guys play well on the same day,” Carlson said. “Easier said than done. It wasn’t from a lack of commitment and focus out there. I just think our four and five guys this week struggled to convert on par 5’s and our par 4 scoring really held us back and that’s what we need to improve on.”

Sluzas finished the first round with a score of 3 under par with help from graduate student Tommy Dunsire who finished the first round with an even par. Sluzas also led the second round with a score of 6 under par, while his running mate Dunsire finished the round four under par.

The next event for the men’s golf team will be an all day event on Sept. 23 at The University of New Mexico Championship Course, where they will be competing in the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate.