Sept. 15, 2013
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- Northwestern concluded play at the season-opening Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational Sunday at the Olympia Fields North Course, placing 15th among one of collegiate golf's strongest early-season fields.
Northwestern returns to action at its home Windon Memorial Classic Sept. 22-23 at The Knollwood Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
Northwestern struggled to a final-round 21-over 301 Sunday to finish one stroke behind 14th-place No. 18 Florida, underscoring the ferocity of the 15-team field at the tournament. Defending national champion Alabama won the event by 18 strokes over second-place Texas, a national quarterfinalist a year ago. Host and 2013 NCAA runner-up Illinois was sixth-place overall. NU's final tally was a 66-over 906 (307-298-301).
Junior Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) was a big bright spot for the Wildcats on a dreary day both in weather and results. Teeing off the back side, Negri braved the persistent rain to birdie Nos. 13 and 17 to get to 2-under before giving a stroke back on No. 18. After making the turn, he alternated birdie and bogey at the first and second holes before one final bogey at No. 7 left him at even-par 70 for the day and 12-over 222 (78-74-70) for the tournament, good for 37th place.
Freshman Matt Fitzpatrick (Sheffield, England/Tapton) finished with a 6-over 76 for a 54-hole total of 17-over 227 (76-75-76). He finished his first-collegiate tournament in 53rd position.
Sophomore Josh Jamieson (St. Andrews, Scotland/High School of Dundee) made double bogey on his final hole Sunday to card an 8-over 78 and place 66th overall at 21-over 231 (74-79-78).
Junior Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) shot a 7-over 77 to conclude the event in 68th at 22-over 232 (81-74-77). Lavin was humming along in the final round at 1-over par through 12 holes before stumbling down the stretch.
Senior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) rounded out NU's squad at the event with a 26-over 236 (79-75-82).
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