March 30, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After nearly a month-long break for finals and a spring break training trip, Northwestern, which is ranked 35th in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Index, returns to tournament play this coming Monday and Tuesday, April 3-4 at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Ariz.
The 'Cats last saw tournament action a little over a month ago, as they battled a competitive field at the Seminole Intercollegiate. The Wildcats, led by senior Chris Wilson's (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman) 16th-place finish, were in the thick of team race after two rounds, but fell back to ninth place on the tournament's final day.
"We played at the NIT a few years ago," said head coach Pat Goss. "It is played on the site of the PGA Tour event in Tucson and some of the better national teams will be there. This tournament allows us to play in some nice weather also, but you have to make a lot of birdies to compete. We need more experience and practice in an environment like this."
Once again, the 'Cats are taking on the nation's best at the NIT. Seven top-25 teams highlight a field that includes no team ranked lower than 67th: No. 8 UNLV, No. 9 UCLA, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 18 Tulsa, No. 20 Arizona State, No. 22 Duke and No. 23 Texas. Five other squads in the field are ranked 50th or higher: No. 27 and tournament-host Arizona, No. 30 TCU, No. 34 Texas Tech, No. 38 Pepperdine and the 35th-ranked 'Cats.
No. 60 New Mexico, No. 67 Kent State and a second squad of Arizona golfers round out the 15-team field.
This year's edition of the NIT will be played at Omni Tucson National Golf Club, a par-72 layout that measures 7,094 yards. UCLA won last year's NIT with a 14-under, 54-hole total of 850.
The 54-hole tournament starts with 36 holes on Monday, followed by the final round on Tuesday.
Live stats for the NIT can be found at National Invitational Tournament.