Oct. 28, 2011
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern concludes its fall season next week, Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at the seventh-annual Gifford Collegiate Championship hosted by UCLA at the CordeValle Resort in San Martin, Calif.
The 11-team tournament includes four of the top-10 teams in the nation according to the latest Golfstat.com data. The entire field is comprised of No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Washington, No. 5 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA, No. 30 Southern California, No. 36 Virginia, No. 41 Arizona, No. 89 Long Beach State, No. 109 Coastal Carolina and No. 120 Washington State in addition to No. 74 Northwestern.
Teams will play 18 holes on each of the tournament's three days. While most collegiate tournaments feature lineups of five players with the top four scoring for their teams, the Gifford is a play six, score five format. Those competitors will attack the par 72, 7,169-yard CordeValle Resort golf course, which hosted the PGA TOUR Fall Series Frys.com Open earlier in October. Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com.
During a tough fall schedule, Northwestern already has faced UCLA in both match and stroke play events, finishing behind the Bruins at the Wildcats' own Windon Memorial Classic at Evanston Golf Club but defeating the then-No. 1 ranked team in the nation in a head-to-head match prior to the Windon. NU also already has played against Oregon, Stanford, Washington and USC this fall season.
Senior Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) has been Northwestern's leader in his final collegiate campaign, firing seven of his 12 competitive rounds at or below par and compiling a 71.08 stroke average. He has been runner-up in two of NU's four tourneys, first taking second at the Marshall Invitational before again finishing there at NU's Windon Memorial Classic.
Senior Sam Chien (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) has shown much greater consistency in his game in 2011, firing five rounds at par or better to currently rank second for the Wildcats with a 72.67 stroke average.
All told, six members of the Northwestern roster have carded scores in the 60s this year during competitive rounds for the Wildcats' lineup. That depth will be needed at a tournament where five scores count instead of the typical four.
After the winter break, Northwestern will return to action as the two-time defending champion at the Big Ten Match Play Championship in February of 2012. Including their win over the Bruins this fall, the Wildcats have won 10 matches in a row dating to 2009.
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!