May 18, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Northwestern's 2012-13 season came to a close Saturday after an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional at The University Club. The top five teams in the field advanced to the NCAA National Championships later this month in Atlanta.
Needing to make up serious ground on the No. 5 position in the standings after entering the final round in eighth place, Northwestern opened hot. The Wildcats combined to play the first four holes in 4-under par but the early success proved to be unsustainable over the difficult University Club track. Still, NU fired its best team score of the tournament with a 12-over 300 to compile a final 54-hole total of 43-over 907 (303-304-300).
Sixth-seeded NU topped ninth-place UAB by a single stroke and 10th place No. 4 seed Mississippi State by two shots. The Wildcats ultimately finished 13 strokes out of the top five, which was comprised of top seed Alabama, No. 2 seed Florida, No. 3 seed and host LSU, No. 7 seed Tennessee and No. 9 seed Coastal Carolina.
Senior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) made bogey on his first hole of the final round before coming right back to card an eagle 3 on the 557-yard par-5 11th hole. He would give shots back at Nos. 15 and 17 to turn at 1-over par, then consecutive bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 put him at 3-over on the round before a final bogey at No. 9 left him at 4-over 76 on the day and 5-over 221 (73-72-76) for the tournament, good for 12th place.
The senior, an All-Big Ten selection in 2012-13, concludes his time at Northwestern with a 74.16 career stroke average, good for eighth-best in program history.
Junior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) opened birdie-birdie at Nos. 11 and 12 and made the turn after an even-par 36 on the challenging back nine at the University Club. On the front he made bogey at No. 2, got back to even with a birdie at the fourth and then had two bogeys in his final three holes to account for a 2-over 74 and an 17th place 8-over 224 (76-74-74) for the tournament.
Perry's top-20 was his ninth of the year in 11 stroke play events. The Les Bolstad Award winner in 2013 for having the lowest stroke average among Big Ten competitors during the entire regular season closed the year with a 71.88 mark, the eighth-best single-season stroke average in NU history.
Sophomore Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) was the lone Wildcat not at even par or better after six holes, but he also had the best finish of anyone on the squad. After make bogey on each of his first two holes he bounced back with a birdie at No. 12. A third bogey on the par-4 18th sent him back around to the front at 2-over, where he would remain after an even-par final nine for his best score of the tourney, a 2-over 74. Lavin finished 34th overall at 12-over 228 (78-76-74).
Sophomore Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) carded his best round of the Regional with a 4-over 76 on Saturday. He opened with six-straight pars before a double bogey at No. 16 and eventually found himself 4-over through 10. He made a pair of birdies against two bogeys on the rest of the way in to finish the event in 65th place at 23-over 239 (81-82-76).
Freshman Andrew Whalen (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata Senior) had a birdie at No. 11 as part of NU's strong start and made the turn at 1-over 37. The big numbers that plagued the rookie in the first two rounds came back, however, in the form of double bogeys at both Nos. 2 and 3 to derail his round and lead to a 7-over 79. Whalen completed his first NCAA action tied with Negri in 65th place at 23-over 239 (76-84-79).
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