Men’s Golf | March 6
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Northern Illinois University men’s golf team opened its 2022 spring season this weekend at Michigan-hosted Desert Mountain Collegiate at Desert Mountain Golf Club. In a field that included seven teams ranked in the top 100 of the GolfStat rankings, the Huskies finished 14and.
“It was a solid group made up mainly of schools from the south, many of whom had already played this spring,” said the head coach. John Carlson. “Conditions yesterday afternoon were among the five toughest I have encountered as a coach. It was 55 degrees with 30 mph winds on a very tough golf course. was a lot to deal with, not just your hitting ball but also your short game to make up for missed greens I was really proud of how our guys fought there.
Michael Cascino (Palos Park, Ill./Butler) was NIU’s top finisher in the event, ranking tied for 31st with a 54-hole score of eight at par 224. He opened the tournament with a one-under par 71 in Saturday’s first round. After a second-round 82, Cascino birdied seven in Sunday’s final round for another par 71 to one under.
“Michael definitely has a formula that works to get his game ready for early spring,” Carlson said. “His short game is at a very high level all the time. Apart from a 12-hole streak in the afternoon yesterday, he could have ended up in the top five. Every round it seemed like we had two guys who were playing very well It’s up to us as the coaching staff to make sure we have more consistent play from all five guys as we go forward.
Tommy Dunsire (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) also placed in the top 40, tied for 39and more than 10 par. After a 78 first round, Dunsire posted back-to-back two-par 74 rounds.
Reece Nilsen (Tucson, Ariz./Grand Canyon) started Saturday similarly to Cascino with a first-round under-71. He posted an 83 in the tough afternoon conditions and bounced back on Sunday with a final lap 75 to finish tied for 52n/a at +13. Ben Sluzas (Lockport, Ill./Lockport) battled blustery conditions Saturday afternoon to post a par 73 to one of 73, the Huskies’ second-round low score. He finished the tournament tied for 57and at +14.
NIU earned a team score of +10,298 on Sunday, matching their team score in the first round. At +43, the Huskies finished one shot ahead of Grand Canyon and one behind Lipscomb for 13and location. Host Wolverines won the tournament by four strokes over UAB and Little Rock.
The Huskies will be next in action April 9-10 at the Aggie Invitational, hosted by Texas A&M at the Traditions Club.