Nov. 7, 2012
Results via Golfstat.com
SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Northwestern concluded its final tournament of the fall season Wednesday with a fifth-place result in the 10-team field of the Gifford Collegiate at CordeValle. Eight of the 10 teams in the field entered the tourney ranked in Golfstat.com's top-50.
No. 23 Northwestern fired an 18-over 373 as a team on a tough day for scoring to give it a three-day total of 28-over 1,093 (363-357-373). NU was tied with No. 46 Coastal Carolina late in the round before a barrage of birdies -- particularly a hot finish by John Callahan (Hinsdale, Ill./Benet Academy) -- helped the Wildcats climb solidly into a solo fifth-place position behind No. 30 Tennessee in fourth and No. 8 USC in third.
"We shotgunned off holes that have been hard for us all week and struggled again," head coach Pat Goss tweeted early in the round. "Will need to fight hard now." Fight hard the Wildcats did, holding on to a finish in the upper half of the field.
Host and fifth-ranked UCLA won the tournament at 3-under par followed by No. 17 Stanford at 5-over par. Among the teams Northwestern defeated were No. 13 SMU, No. 46 Coastal Carolina and No. 50 Oregon State.
Play went off in a shotgun start Wednesday following a 30 minute fog delay. The Gifford Collegiate is played in a west coast six-count-five format, meaning teams field lineups of six players and count the top five scores in each round. The majority of collegiate tournaments are five-count-four affairs.
The Gifford concludes Northwestern's fall schedule, which saw the Wildcats claim the team title at the Inverness Intercollegiate, take second by one stroke at its own Windon Memorial Classic and finish among the top half of what is annually one of college golf's best fields at the Olympia Fields CC/Fighting Illini Invitational.
Junior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) began his final round at No. 13, playing steady golf with a couple of bogeys that put him at 2-over par after eight holes. He fought back with birdies on both of the front side par-5s, then got to red numbers with a third birdie at No. 9 and a fourth at No. 11. He made bogey at his last to end up at 1-under 70 for the day and 2-over 215 (71-74-70) for the tournament, good for 12th position.
Sophomore Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) had an adventurous start to his day, failing to recover from trouble on his first hole and making double bogey at No. 15. The opposite result occurred at the par-5 18th where he hooked his drive into the trees and almost topped his second shot from a bad lie. He recovered completely, though, when he nearly holed out with a 4-iron and tapped in for birdie.
Lavin leaked a few strokes with three bogeys on the front nine, then made birdie at No. 11 to card a final round 3-over 74 and a tourney total of 3-over 216 (73-69-74). Lavin finished in 13th place.
Senior Nick Losole (Scottsdale, Ariz./Scottsdale Notre Dame) made three early bogeys and one birdie in his first five holes before carding birdie on both front-nine par-3s and the par-5 sixth hole to get himself under par. A bogey at the ninth and 10th then a disastrous triple bogey on his final hole led to a 4-over 75 and a 20th-place 5-over 218 (76-67-75).
Sophomore Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) made bogeys at each of his first three holes, then endured another three-bogey stretch to reach 6-over par through nine holes of play. He clawed back with a couple of birdies, but would end his day with a 7-over 78 and a 54-hole total of 8-over 221 (72-71-78), placing him 36th in the field.
Callahan made a birdie, two double bogeys and three bogeys for an eventful first six holes Wednesday. He eventually was 9-over late in the round before playing his final four holes in 4-under par. Callahan first made his second eagle of the tournament, this one coming at the short par-4 eighth hole, before finishing par-birdie-birdie after that for a 5-over 76 and a 52nd-place 12-over 225 (71-78-76).
"Impressive finish!" tweeted Goss.
Redshirt freshman Scott Smith (Pepper Pike, Ohio/University School) slowly saw his score climb higher as the final round progressed, ending up with an 8-over 79. He finished the tournament at 18-over 231 (76-76-79) in 64th place.
Playing as an individual not in the team lineup, freshman Josh Jamieson (St. Andrews, Scotland/High School of Dundee) carded a 7-over 78 Wednesday to come in 70th at 25-over 238 (81-79-78).
After the winter break, Northwestern will return to action in Bradenton, Fla., as the three-time defending champion at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in February of 2013. The Wildcats have won 14 match-play matches in a row dating to 2009.
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