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Fall Sports Preview – Men’s Golf: Northwestern enters fall season with lineup questions

Fall Sports Preview – Men’s Golf: Northwestern enters fall season with lineup questions
(Daily file photo by Nathan Richards)

Northwestern is looking to build on a promising, if inconsistent, 2015-16 season, which ended with seventh-place finish in an NCAA Regional tournament, two spots short of qualifying for the NCAA Championship.

The team’s biggest star is junior Dylan Wu, who led the Wildcats in scoring average, top-10 and top-20 finishes. His two third-place finishes were the best of any NU golfer last year.

Wu and junior Sam Triplett are the only returning upperclassmen on the team, as the only other Cats to play in all 11 tournaments last year, Josh Jamieson and Andrew Whalen, both graduated in 2016.

This leaves coach David Inglis with a wide open roster coming into the year, as five golfers compete for the team in each tournament, and while Wu is almost certain to compete in each tournament, the other four spots will likely be wide open.

Along with Triplett, sophomores Ryan Lumsden, Luke Miller and Pete Griffith will compete with graduate transfer Conor Richardson and the incoming freshman class for playing time.

Of the trio of sophomores, Lumsden turned in the most impressive performance last year, finishing tied for seventh at the Puerto Rico Classic and also finishing second on the team in scoring average on the year.

Miller and Griffith will need to show improvement if they hope to lock down consistent starting spots this year. Miller played in six tournaments last year, and his best finish was tied for 40th, while Griffith participated in five, with his best finish at 24th place.

NU’s seventh-place regionals finish last year was largely due to a terrible second round where the Cats shot the 13th-best round in the 14 team field, essentially ending their chance at NCAAs qualification.

Although NU’s regionals qualification in 2015-16 marked a major improvement after the team failed to qualify in 2014-15, the team is still searching for its first NCAAs qualification since the 2010-11 season and the first such berth under Inglis.

With a year of experience under their belts, this may just be the year for the young Cats.

Dylan Wu, volunteer assistant Tim Streng qualify for U.S. Open sectional qualifier

Dylan Wu, volunteer assistant Tim Streng qualify for U.S. Open sectional qualifier
(Daily file photo by Nathan Richards)

The U.S. Open, one of golf’s four major championships, plays host to golf’s biggest stars every year. But it fills out its field each year in a unique way — with open qualifying tournaments all over the country that attract the best amateur players and club pros in America to play for a shot at glory. Last year, 22 golfers qualified for the 156-player field through these local qualifying tournaments.

On Monday, two representatives from Northwestern’s men’s golf team put themselves a step closer to the U.S. Open. Sophomore Dylan Wu, who was recently named to the All-Big Ten second team, finished tied for third at the local qualifier hosted at the Village Links in Glen Ellyn, shooting a 2-under 70 in a single round to secure one of the five sectional qualifying spots from the tournament.

However, Wu was bested by one of his coaches on the day. Volunteer assistant coach Tim Streng shot a 3-under 69 to finish second at the qualifier and book a ticket to the sectional qualifying round. Streng was a decorated golfer at Western Illinois and is no stranger to the U.S. Open qualification process — in 2008, he finished just 3 strokes out from securing a spot in the U.S. Open at a sectional qualifier.

Wu and Streng will play two rounds on June 6 at a to-be-announced location for their chance at the U.S. Open. And while the numbers are against them making an appearance at Oakmont this summer — last year, nearly 600 golfers qualified for the sectional rounds — they will get their shots at one of the most prestigious events in golf.

Morning Roundup: April 27, 2016

by Max Schuman 0 Comments
Morning Roundup: April 27, 2016
(Daily file photo by Zack Laurence)

It’s been an quite the year for Joey Calistri. The men’s soccer star finished his career as a Wildcat in the fall as the second-leading scorer in school history, then signed a homegrown contract with the Chicago Fire of MLS, beginning his professional career. In the first installment of our Curtain Call series, taking one final look at Northwestern’s senior stars like Calistri, Ben Pope profiles a player making the leap and trying to find his way at the next level.

In other news…

  • The NFL Draft takes place in Chicago beginning this Thursday, and several Cats seem poised to hear their names called. Bobby Pillote and Max Schuman convened a roundtable to preview the weekend’s events.
  • Marty Johnson checks in with the softball team as they prepare for the home stretch of the season, beginning with today’s game against Loyola University Chicago.
  • The Big Ten announced its golf honors yesterday, with NU’s women’s golf sweeping individual awards and men’s golfer Dylan Wu being recognized as well.
  • Max Schuman took a look at the Cats’ chances of sending a runner to the outdoor track NCAA Regionals this season, and didn’t like what he saw.

And a look at Wednesday’s back page:

042716DNUp08-page-001 (1)

 

Dylan Wu named to All-Big Ten second team

After taking sixth overall as an individual at the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships over the weekend, sophomore Dylan Wu was named to the All-Big Ten second team today.

Wu has been Northwestern’s best player this season, leading the team in stroke average and notching a pair of third-place finishes at the Windon Memorial and most recently at The Boilermaker to close the regular season. He ended his Sunday round in the Big Tens with two birdies in his last three holes to shoot 69, helping NU to a sixth-place team finish in the tournament.

Wu’s consistently solid play all season and strong finish to the year clearly impressed the Big Ten coaches, who select six players apiece for the conference’s first and second teams. Now, Wu and his teammates will wait to see if their performance this year impressed the NCAA Tournament selection committee enough to earn a bid and continue their season.