Oct. 2, 2012
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- No. 13 Northwestern had a rough go of the final round Tuesday at the 2012 Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational, concluding the tournament in a sixth-place tie among a very strong field.
The Wildcats fired a 17-over 297 to come in at 35-over 875 (288-290-297), even with No. 48 Auburn and two strokes shy of a fourth-place tie between No. 35 Duke and Stanford. NU was one stroke better than eighth-place Oklahoma State, and also beat four top-25 teams (No. 2 SMU, No. 18 Illinois, No. 19 Clemson and No. 25 Indiana). No. 15 Arkansas ran away with the tournament, winning by 13 strokes over No. 4 Florida, which itself was two shots better than third-place No. 39 Florida State.
"We still need to find our five best players and continue to improve every day," head coach Pat Goss tweeted after the tournament. "We will get back to work on Wednesday!"
Senior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) continued his strong tournament with an NU-best 1-over 71 on Tuesday. He had a bogey-bogey stretch on the difficult Nos. 5 and 6, but got one stroke back with a birdie at No. 11 and made par on the rest of the course. Outside of a triple bogey in the second round, Losole played a phenomenal tournament to earn his third top-10 of the young season, concluding the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational in a career-best second place at 2-over 212 (68-73-71).
Junior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) stuffed his wedge approach at the first for an opening birdie, made five bogeys mid-round then closed his tournament with a birdie at the 530-yard par-5 finishing hole for a 3-over 73 and a 54-hole total of 7-over 217 (74-70-73). Perry placed 17th in the field, a top-20 finish that comes on the heels of two top-10s in NU's first two events.
"Bright spot today was Nick Losole finishing second," Goss tweeted. "He and Jack Perry are both off to a solid start to the season."
Sophomore Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) opened with four-straight pars Tuesday before four bogeys had him turning at 4-over 39. He birdied the short 345-yard par-4 11th, gave that stroke back at No. 12, but recovered to make pars the rest of the way for a hard-fought 4-over 74. Lavin finished in 52nd place at 18-over 228 (74-80-74).
Junior John Callahan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy) made double bogey on his first hole Tuesday and never recovered, finishing with a 9-over 79 to come in 62nd at 21-over 231 (79-73-79).
After playing relatively well in the first two rounds, freshman Andrew Whalen (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata) struggled to control his ball in the wind Tuesday. He opened with a birdie at No. 2 after hitting a gap wedge approach to two feet and looked on track to duplicate his strong early rounds, but two double bogeys and a triple bogey at the par-3 14th contributed to an 11-over 81 and a final total of 17-over 227 (72-74-81), which made him 46th overall.
Northwestern returns to action Oct. 13-14 at the Rod Myers Invitational hosted by Duke in Durham, N.C.
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