Oct. 16, 2011
SKOKIE, Ill. -- Three Wildcats tallied career-best scores in the opening round Sunday of the 15th Windon Memorial Classic at Evanston Golf Club and Northwestern is near the top of the 17-team leaderboard after one day of play. Darkness fell before all groups could complete the scheduled 36 holes; the second round will be completed Monday morning.
Northwestern jumped out to the early lead, finding itself 9-under par as a team through 12 holes of play. The Wildcats would conclude the opening 18 holes at 6-under 274 as a team, tied with No. 8 Arkansas atop the leaderboard. In the second round, tougher and windier conditions took their toll on the Wildcats, leading to an over-par total when play was suspended due to darkness. Still, NU unofficially is in second place with an two-round total that is under par.
"I love seeing our team make some birdies early," head coach Pat Goss said. "We came out of the gates ready to take advantage of the good scoring conditions."
Senior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) led the morning charge with a career-best 65 to claim the first-round lead. The total was two shots shy of the Evanston Golf Club redesigned course record of 63 held by Northwestern alum and current World No. 1 Luke Donald. It ties for the fourth-best single-round total in NU history and is the Wildcats' team best since senior Sam Chien (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) fired a 64 to win the Navy Fall Classic in 2009.
Early morning rains softened the Evanston Golf Club tract, which already plays to a relatively short par-70, 6,793 yard layout. The rains moved out mid-morning, leaving stronger winds and toughening conditions as round one transitioned to round two.
Northwestern was paired with No. 8 Arkansas and No. 22 UCLA (up-to-the-minute Golfstat.com rankings) as well as Harvard in the opening two rounds Sunday. The No. 1 pairing among the schools featured UCLA's Patrick Cantlay, the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world who shot a 60 in a PGA TOUR round earlier this summer; Arkansas' Ethan Tracy, who won the Western Amateur title; and Northwestern's Chun, a former Big Ten champion who qualified for the British Open at St. Andrews as an amateur in 2010.
After an early bogey on No. 2, Chun did not sniff an over-par score the rest of the first round. His performance began with an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole where he hit a good drive in the fairway before cutting a 5-iron approach from 196 yards to 12 feet and burying the putt. He immediately stepped up to the tee on the 157-yard, par-3 seventh hole and hit the flag atop the pin, which caused the ball to land beyond the hole and spin back just over the edge. Chun tapped in for birdie then got to 3-under par with a 15-foot putt from beyond the hole at the 10th. Two more birdies on 12 and 15 and no bogeys after the second hole led to Chun's opening 5-under 65.
In the second round, Chun turned in a 1-over 36 going out after two bogeys and a birdie. A third bogey at No. 11 got him to 2-over in the afternoon before he got one shot back on the par-5 13th. Chun has several holes remaining in his second round.
Chien made the day's first birdie for Northwestern on the 195-yard par-3 fourth to a difficult pin location, rolling in a near 20-foot putt to negate a bogey he carded at the third. A second bogey on the par-5 sixth put him at 1-over, where he remained until two late bogeys at 15 and 18 led to an opening 2-over 72.
Chien made bogey on his very first hole of the second round, eventually remaining 1-over heading to the back nine. He fought back to even par with a birdie on the 196-yard, par-3 12th, then found red numbers with a birdie at the 15th. Chien also has a couple of holes to complete.
Sophomore Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) began his day with three pars before keeping his tee shot short of the tucked-in hole location at the par-3 fourth, rolling in nearly the same putt as Chien for a birdie. He got to 2-under with a birdie at No. 6, quickly recovered from a bogey at 11 with another birdie at 12, then made his way to 3-under par with a birdie on the 15th. Though he had back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17, he still hung on for a career-best 1-under 69 to open.
In the second round, Perry made birdie on his very first hole, but bogeys began creeping onto the card after that in the toughening windy conditions. Back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 got Perry to 2-over in the afternoon round before the sophomore fought all the way back to even with rapid-fire birdies at Nos. 13 and 15. Perry will finish his second round in the morning.
Junior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) returned to the Northwestern lineup for the first time in a tournament this season after missing several with an injury. His first action of any kind came Thursday when he notched the clinching win in a head-to-head match versus UCLA at Evanston Golf Club. Sunday morning, Losole was 2-under through six holes in the first round with birdies on Nos. 6 and 8 before giving a stroke back at the ninth. He played the rest of the way with 10 pars and a birdie at the 364-yard, par-4 14th to card a career-best 2-under 68 in the first round.
In round two, Losole made an early birdie at the short par-4 fifth, but consecutive bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8 sent him into black numbers. Losole was 3-over in the afternoon round through 16 holes when play was suspended.
Freshman Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) began his day on the fourth hole, carding all pars until a birdie on the 384-yard par-4 eighth. He paired each birdie he made with a bogey to find himself even par through 12 holes, but a bogey on 17 and a double-bogey on 18 left him at 3-over par before he finished the first round at 4-over 74. In the second, Lavin was even through seven holes, however four bogeys on the back nine led to a 4-over par tally with three holes remaining for the freshman.
Two Wildcats are competing as individuals, freshman Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) and sophomore John Callahan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy). Negri carded a 5-over 75 in the first round and is 1-under through 16 in the second while Callahan fired a 2-over 72 in the morning and in 5-over through 15 in the afternoon.
Teams will complete the second round Monday morning, then continue into round three immediately in the same pairings as if it were another shotgun start. Live scoring can be found at
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!