The Red Raider men’s golf team closed out their fall season on Monday and Tuesday with a tournament at TPC Deere Run in Illinois, where Nationals will be held in the spring. This course was the team’s preview meet. TPC Deere Run also hosts a PGA tour tournament every year.
Despite the course being very tough, Northwestern played a solid 36 holes. The Raiders overall finished 12th out of 20 teams that competed. They saw tough competition from teams all over the NAIA.
NW opened up the meet on Monday by shooting a combined team score of 331. On Tuesday the team shot a 315, bringing their overall score from the tournament to 646.
The Raiders were only four points behind St. Ambrose, who placed 11th. Grandview College placed first in the tournament with a team score of 602.
Juniors Evan Schuler and Justin Kraft tied for 45th place overall with their two-day score of 161. The conditions on Monday were less than ideal.
“The combination of the difficult course and gusty winds definitely made day one scores higher than day two,” Kraft said. “It was definitely more mentally exhausting on the first day.”
That could have also been due to the fact that the golfers had not faced this tough course since Nationals last season. The two-day totals for the other three golfers on the team were Zach Riddle at 163, Ryan Christy at 165, and Austin Reitz with a 168. With no more tournaments until March, the Raiders are heading into a long break during the winter.
“Although the results are not what we hoped for, playing at a course like this is always an awesome experience,” said Schuler. “This gives us some motivation to work hard in the winter and hopefully improve upon our results in the spring.”
Altogether the Raiders had a good experience in Illinois and look forward to getting back to the course in the spring.