May 3, 2014
2014 Big Ten Championships
The Pete Dye Course French Lick Resort French Lick, Ind.
Third Round Results
FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- Northwestern fired the third-best round of the day in brutal conditions Saturday, moving up one spot in the team standings while senior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) moved up into third place individually.
Northwestern shot a 17-over 305 to jump up to fourth position entering Sunday's final round at 43-over 907 (301-301-305). Only tournament leader Minnesota (+13) and seventh-place Michigan State (+15) had better days.
The Wildcats are just four shots shy of a second-place tie between No. 9 Illinois and No. 43 Purdue. Minnesota is 11 strokes in front of Northwestern.
"Windy and tough conditions again today," tweeted head coach Pat Goss. "When you play above the trees it will howl and howling it is. Hold on to your hats!" In a much more understated announcement, as scores skyrocketed throughout the day, the Big Ten added the simple sentence "The wind has been a factor all day long" to the Golfstat live scoring site.
Northwestern began the day eight strokes out of the lead in fifth place among a tightly bunched leaderboard. Playing among the first groups out, six early birdies got the 'Cats back into the conversation. When NU completed its third round, it stood sixth on the leaderboard. Gradually thereafter the field came back to the 'Cats, leading to their current fourth-place position within shouting distance of second.
The fourth and final round of the 2014 Big Ten Championships begins at 7 a.m. CT/8 a.m. ET tomorrow, Sunday, May 4.
Perry answered every bogey he made Saturday with a birdie while tearing through Pete Dye's difficult French Lick gem. An early bogey at No. 2 was coupled with a birdie at No. 3, then Perry responded to back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 7 and 8 with three-straight birdies from Nos. 9 through 11 to get into red figures. He nearly made a fourth in that string but lipped out a birdie effort at the 12th.
Hovering near the top of the individual leaderboard after that hot stretch, Perry made four straight pars before a mistake at the 183-yard par-3 16th led to a double bogey five that pushed him back over par. That was lone miscue for Perry on the day, giving him a 1-over 73 that shot him from eighth up to third place at 5-over 221 (73-75-73), five strokes out of the lead entering the final round.
Junior Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) continued his trend toward a colorful scorecard on Saturday. After making just seven pars in Friday's second round, Negri carded seven again on Saturday. He opened with three bogeys in his first six holes, then clawed back to just 1-over par with consecutive birdies at Nos. 12 and 13. He would make three bogeys after that before closing with a birdie at the last for his second-straight 3-over 75.
After opening the tourney with a 10-over 82, Negri has rebounded tremendously to climb up to 36th place overall at 16-over 232 (82-75-75).
Sophomore Andrew Whalen (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata) began the day in fourth place individually but found four bogeys in his first eight holes. He finished the front side with a birdie at No. 9, then four bogeys in a five-hole stretch on the back nine led him to 7-over for the third round with a 79. Whalen remains in the top 10 overall despite his rough outing with a ninth-place 9-over 225 (74-72-79).
Sophomore Scott Smith (Pepper Pike, Ohio/University School) had a quick birdie at the second hole Saturday and completely avoided the monstrous single-hole numbers that plagued his second round. That early birdie, however, was his lone red number of the day and seven bogeys after gave him a 6-over 78. Smith ranks 51st in the field at 21-over 237 (79-80-78).
Junior Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) made five bogeys on the front nine to turn in 5-over 41, then had a birdie at No. 11 to stabilize his play. A mistake at No. 15 led to a double bogey and an eventual 7-over 79. He is 42nd in the field at 17-over 233 (75-79-79).
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