Benjy Apelbaum

Men’s Golf: Observations from a day at the Windon Memorial Classic

Men’s Golf: Observations from a day at the Windon Memorial Classic
(Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer)

Underneath the American flag and flag with the club’s logo, a purple-and-white Northwestern “N” flew over North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Illinois as the 20th annual Windon Memorial Classic began Sunday.

After completing two rounds on the first day of action, the Wildcats are in fourth place with a score of 2-over as a team and are lead by junior Dylan Wu, who finished the day tied for fifth, shooting 3-under in 36 holes.

The course at the North Shore Country Club hosted one U.S. Open in 1933, as well as the Western Open and the U.S. Amateur twice.

The tournament, which is free and open to the public, had an informal feel to it. There were no rope lines, meaning spectators were free to get close to the action — as long as they watch out for any stray balls. With sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s and 80s for much of the day, numerous purple-clad spectators came out to the course.

Players are responsible for carrying their own bags and report their scores to volunteers every three holes. The only people responsible for enforcing the rules are a few rules officials roving in golf carts spread over the 7,103 yard course.

On the manicured course, the primary sounds are of the thwack of drivers hitting golf balls, the slightly quieter sound of iron shots and the faint roar of occasional airplanes flying overhead.

The players are primarily competing against the course and not each other, meaning there is little antagonism shown to the other competitors in the three-person pairings. When Purdue’s Austin Eoff sunk a long iron shot for a birdie on the 10th hole of the first round, junior Dylan Wu acknowledged, “that was a sick shot.” Graduate transfer Conor Richardson was oddly paired with his former roommate from Florida, and the two were chatting throughout the round.

But just because the players are not in direct competition with one another does not mean passions could not be inflamed, as many players became visibly frustrated after bad shots or near misses. With one round remaining in the tournament, those feelings could be magnified tomorrow.

The third and final round of the tournament begins Monday morning.

Historic men’s tennis season ends in NCAA Regionals

Historic men’s tennis season ends in NCAA Regionals
(Daily file photo by Daniel Tian)

Northwestern couldn’t shake Stanford on Sunday, losing in the NCAA Regionals 4-3 as it’s historic season came to a close.

All eyes at the Vandy Christie Tennis Center turned to junior Konrad Zieba’s match with Tom Fawcett as the deciding match. Zieba came back from a 5-1 deficit in the first set, winning 7-5, but was shutout in the second set. An intense third set ensued, as Zieba saved multiple match points, but unfortunately for the Wildcats Fawcett prevailed as Stanford advanced.

The match began with NU capturing a dramatic doubles point. After the Cats won at No. 2 doubles and lost at No. 3, it all was up to the team of senior Fedor Baev and junior Strong Kirchheimer. Kirchheimer was broken serving for the set, but the duo managed to break back after winning a marathon point to win the set 7-5. NU had only lost once after winning the doubles point going into the match.

Singles play began poorly for the Cats as the fell behind in a number of matches as Baev and freshman Ben Vandixhorn lost in straight sets to put the team behind 2-1.

The match drew even when junior Strong Kirchheimer continued his domination of No. 3 singles with a 6-0, 6-4 win.

After junior Sam Shropshire won his match, junior Alp Horoz gave up a lead in the second set to fall 6-4, 6-4 and leave the match at 3 points apiece.

Zieba’s singles match was the last to conclude. NU ended arguably their best season ever with a 26-5 record.

Northwestern advances to second round of NCAA Tournament with win over Valparaiso

Northwestern advances to second round of NCAA Tournament with win over Valparaiso
(Daily file photo by Daniel Tian)

Northwestern defeated a feisty Valparaiso team 4-1 Saturday to advance a round of 32 NCAA Tournament matchup with Stanford.

The match began well for NU when it won the doubles point with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. This has become a trend for the Cats as juniors Konrad Zieba and Sam Shropshire and junior Alp Horoz and senior Mihir Kumar have winning streak of four and six matches, respectively.

NU got off to a strong start in singles when they won 5-of-6 first sets. Shropshire quickly took care of business and won 6-3, 6-2 to give the Cats a 2-0 lead.

Senior Fedor Baev got off to a shaky start in his match, but even after he regained his form in the second set, his opponent’s excellent serving was too much and caused Baev to fall 6-2, 7-5.

After cruising in the first set, Kirchheimer found himself down 5-3 in the second and forced to break serve to avoid a third set. After doing so, he reeled off four straight games to win the match, his 13th in a row.

Two of the three remaining matches went to third sets and freshman Ben Vandixhorn secured the final point with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

On Sunday, the Cats will host No. 29 Stanford with their first berth in the round of 16 since 1997 on the line.