April 30, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern enters the Big Ten Championships on the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort this weekend, May 2-4, as the conference's No. 4 seed looking to rebound from a tough performance at last season's event.
The Wildcats, winners of two events in 2013-14, are in search of their fifth B1G title under 18th-year head coach Pat Goss. NU finished in the top-three in the standings from 2010-12 before entering 2013 as the top overall seed and ending up sixth overall.
NU is ranked No. 50 in the most recent Golfstat.com data and is one of four Big Ten schools in the top 50 behind No. 9 Illinois, No. 35 Iowa and No. 43 Purdue.
The Wildcats are set up for success at the notoriously difficult Pete Dye Course, which will play to a 7,152-yard, par-72 layout this weekend and features a statue of its designer out front declaring "...golf is not a fair game so why build a fair golf course."
Leading the charge is 2013 All-American and 2014 Byron Nelson Award finalist Jack Perry, who has five top-10 finishes in nine team stroke play events this season including a runner-up performance at the Windon Memorial Classic and his third-career victory at Duke's Rod Myers Intercollegiate in the fall.
Sophomore Andrew Whalen is a great course manager who has stepped up to fill a big hole in the spring. Whalen, who did not play in the team lineup in the fall, has finished no worse than 26th in three spring tournaments with one top-20 result.
Sophomore Scott Smith cuts a big figure at 6-foot-5 and is built for the Dye layout. He too has come on in the spring after seeing little action in the fall, culminating in a career-best 22nd-place result at the Boilermaker Invite two weeks ago.
Junior Matthew Negri and Bennett Lavin will round out NU's lineup this week.
The Pete Dye course, which was named America's Best New Public Course in 2009 by Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine, was carefully carved on a dramatic hilltop offering a variety of elevation changes, rugged and dramatic terrain, narrow fairways and challenging bunkers. The course, which maxes out an astonishing 8,102 yards with an 80.0 rating, will play to a 7,152-yard, par 72 layout for this tournament.
NU AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
NU has won nine team or individual Big Ten Championships in the last 14 years:
Four Team Titles: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006
Five Individual: Luke Donald (2000, 2001), Chris Wilson (2006), Eric Chun (2009), David Lipsky (2010)
For Northwestern's complete Big Ten Championships preview notes package, download the .pdf at the top of this release.
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