NAPERVILLE, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University men’s golf team is scheduled to host the 2022 Mid-American Conference Men’s Golf Championship Friday through Sunday at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville. The Huskies prepared for the tournament with a practice round Thursday in conditions that have become all too familiar this spring, cold and windy, but that hasn’t dampened the excitement that playing for a title can bring. of conference.
“It’s our biggest regular season event every year, and I know these 48 student-athletes are going to have a great time playing at White Eagle this week,” the NIU head coach said. John Carlson.
The Huskies finished second in the 2021 MAC Championship, their best result in more than 30 years. NIU returns three of the five scorers from this tournament as Zack Square (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) tied for 13th, Reece Nilsen (Tucson, Ariz./Catalina Foothills/Grand Canyon) tied for 17th and Tommy Dunsire (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) tied for 23rd. Graduate student Michael Cascino (Palos Park, Ill./Providence Catholic/Butler) adds veteran tournament experience to the roster for this season’s championship. Last season, Cascino won the Big East Individual Championship playing Butler.
“We’re definitely going to build on that experience from last year,” Carlson said. “These guys competed and felt that pressure on a tough Sycamore Hills golf course against Kent State. We added Michael this year and he brought some leadership to the team. going down the stretch and closing the Big East title in the playoffs. Ben Sluzas also brings some experience, having won several times at junior level.”
Nilsen leads the Huskies in scoring average this season at 73.67. The eldest won the Xavier Invitational in October with a 54-hole score of six-under par 207, becoming the first Huskie to earn individual medalist honors in more than five years. He also has a second-place finish this season at the Wisconsin Badger Invitational where he also shot six under. Cascino led NIU at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate in Ohio State last weekend, tied for 15th at one under par. It was the third time this season that Butler’s graduate transfer was the Huskies’ top finisher in a tournament this year.
NIU has three top-five finishes this season, tied with Morehead State for first place at Xavier. The Huskies finished fourth at the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate in early October and fifth at the Badger Invitational. An experienced band playing close to home could be the ticket to the top for NIU this weekend.
“We have a very solid team, but we also know that the competition is strong this year at the MAC,” said Carlson. “We’re going to have a huge support group here, and they’re going to be loud and loud for NIU. I can’t wait for our guys to have this experience with spectators who want to see them come down the stretch and putt and fight for the championship and then we’ll see how it goes at the end of the day on Sunday.”
The teams will play 54 holes with one round each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Departure times (subject to change) begin at 11:00 a.m. CT Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s final round will begin at 8:00 a.m. CT. Live scoring is available on GolfStat.com. All three rounds will be broadcast live on NIU All-Access on NIUHuskies.com for free by Naperville Community Television (NCTV17).