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    Hot Start Helps 'Cats Move Up Again, Take Sixth at Puerto Rico Classic

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Josh Jamieson carded the first two under-par totals of his career in the second and third rounds of the Puerto Rico Classic.
    Freshman Josh Jamieson carded the first two under-par totals of his career in the second and third rounds of the Puerto Rico Classic.

    Feb. 19, 2013

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    RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico -- Northwestern got off to an incredibly hot start Tuesday during the final round of the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club before eventually carding a 3-under 285 to move up one spot and finish sixth in the star-studded, 15-team event.

    After beginning the shotgun start on an easier stretch of the course from Nos. 8 to 11, the Wildcats found themselves 10 under par through seven holes, vaulting them all the way up to one stroke shy of a fourth-place tie between No. 8 Georgia Tech and No. 9 Georgia. The two top-10 squads would separate themselves as the day played out, but NU remained a solid sixth among a field featuring eight of the current Golfstat top-40 programs.

    NU's 54-hole total of 1-under 863 (297-281-285) and sixth place finish marked a stellar comeback from an opening 9-over par tally that left the Wildcats in 11th position. Northwestern finished three strokes ahead of seventh-place Virginia Tech and also defeated No. 21 Clemson (eighth) and No. 36 North Carolina (12th). No. 6 Alabama won the event followed by No. 40 Oklahoma, No. 20 SMU, No. 9 Georgia and No. 8 Georgia Tech in front of No. 31 Northwestern.

    "Solid tournament," head coach Pat Goss tweeted. "Once again we proved we can play in the winter. We now have one weekend off and then we go to Fresno State. Time to get caught up in school and build off three weeks on the road. Go 'Cats!"

    Sophomore Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) continued his stellar play from Monday with a final round 4-under 68 to lead the Wildcats. He began his day with a birdie on his first hole, No. 9, before another at No. 11. He then made eagle at the 544-yard par-5 15th to get all the way down to 4-under par. He immediately gave a shot back with a bogey on No. 16, but played his final 10 holes in 1-under with nine pars and a birdie at the par-4 fourth.

    Negri fully bounced back from a rough opening day in which he shot a 6-over 78, carding 69 in the second round and 68 Tuesday to finish the tournament in red numbers at 1-under 215, good for 22nd position overall.

    Junior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) was absolutely on fire at the start of his final round, holing a 20-footer for birdie on his second hole (No. 10) before hitting a wedge to four feet on No. 11 for another birdie. Two more birdies followed at Nos. 13 and 15 to find Perry just three strokes off the individual lead at 4-under par through seven holes.

    He then hit a more difficult stretch of the Rio Mar River Course and it bit back, leading to bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17. He bounced back by hitting the flagstick with his approach to No. 18, though his birdie try lipped out. Impressive birdies did follow via a 35-foot bending bomb from the fringe on No. 1 and with a great five-iron approach on the 191-yard par-3 third to get back to 4-under par.

    A double bogey later and a bogey on his final hole led to Perry signing for a 1-under 71 that put him 16th overall in the field as Northwestern's top finisher with a 2-under 214 (72-71-71).

    One day after earning his first collegiate under par round, freshman Josh Jamieson (St. Andrews, Scotland/High School of Dundee) matched his 1-under 71 again in Tuesday's final round. Jamieson nearly equaled Perry's white-hot start with birdies on three of his first four holes before a trio of bogeys got him back down to even par through 11.

    Jamieson rebounded with birdies at Nos. 4 and 6 before, like Perry, a bogey on his final hole left him at 1-under 71 and 31st overall with a 2-over 218 (76-71-71).

    Senior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) entered Tuesday in the top-10 in the standings, but never quite came untracked in the final round. He scrambled to six-straight opening pars, including getting up and down from a hazard on the par-3 10th, before making three bogeys in a four-hole stretch. His lone birdie of the day came at No. 18, but another bogey at No. 2 accounted for a 3-over 75 and a three-day total of even-par 216 (71-70-75), placing him 24th overall.

    Sophomore Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) played a much more consistent round Tuesday, avoiding the big blowup hole that plagued him in each of the first two rounds. He carded five bogeys and two birdies with par on the rest to finish at 3-over 75 for the round and 14-over 230 (78-77-75) for the tournament.

    Northwestern is off for a week before returning to action March 4-5 at the Fresno State Lexus Classic in Fresno, Calif.


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