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    Sept. 30, 1997

    Northwestern Finishes in Seventh Place at Ping/Golfweek Preview

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Led by freshman Luke Donald's four-under-par 212, the Northwestern men's golf team finished in seventh place at the Ping/Golfweek Preview Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday. The Wildcats finished with a team score of four-over-par 868. UNLV won the tournament with a team score of 853.

    The field for the Preview included 14 of the top 15 teams from last year's NCAA Championship, which was hosted by Northwestern. UNLV, which did not make the cut at last year's NCAAs, was given an at-large berth into the Preview based on their current fourth-place national ranking. NU, unranked entering the Preview, finished ahead of No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Wake Forest, No. 5 New Mexico, Co-No. 7s Arizona State and Florida, No. 11 North Carolina and No. 18 Ohio State.

    Donald, who took 14th place in his collegiate debut last weekend at the Keswick Club Cavalier Classic, posted rounds of 72-67-74 to finish in sixth place for the tournament, six strokes behind individual champion J.J. Henry of TCU. Three of Donald's six rounds as a Wildcat have been either par or better.

    Sophomore David Shaffer also made an impressive showing in his second career tournament as a Wildcat, shooting rounds of 73-72-70 to finish in a tie for 10th place at one-under-par 215. Other Wildcat finishers included Jess Daley (t39th, 221), Erik Ciotti (t48th, 223) and Josh Habig (t61st, 228).

    The Wildcats, which finished tied for seventh at last year's NCAA Championships, boast a current starting lineup with just one returnee (Ciotti) from last year's squad. Senior Matt Seppanen, who was also a starter on last year's team, is currently unable to play due to a strained lower back.

    NU's next tournament will be Oct. 18-20 at the Duke Golf Classic in Durham, N.C.