NIU Men’s Golf Set For MAC Championship This Weekend

NAPERVILLE, IL – The Northern Illinois University men’s golf team is set to host the 2022 Mid-American Conference Men’s Golf Championship this Friday through Sunday at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville. The Huskies prepared for the tournament with a practice round on Thursday in conditions that have become all too familiar this spring, cold and blustery, but that hasn’t dampered the enthusiasm playing for a conference title can bring.

“This is our biggest event in the regular season every year, and I know that these 48 student-athletes are going to have a great time playing White Eagle this week,” said NIU Head Coach John Carlson.

The Huskies finished second at the 2021 MAC Championship, their highest finish in over 30 years. NIU Returns three of the five scorers from that tournament as Zach Place (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 some Veteran tournament experience to the lineup for this season’s Championship. Last season Cascino won the Big East individual Championship while playing at Butler.

“We’re certainly going to draw on that experience from last year,” Carlson said. “These guys competed and felt that pressure coming down the stretch at a tough golf course at Sycamore Hills against Kent State. We’ve added Michael this year and he’s brought some leadership to the team. He’s been in that position before, coming down the stretch and closing out the Big East title in a playoff. Ben Sluzas also brings some experience, having won multiple times at the junior level. “

Nilsen leads the Huskies in scoring average this season at 73.67. The senior 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 over five years. He also has a second-place showing this season at Wisconsin’s Badger Invitational where he also shot six-under par. Cascino led the NIU at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate at Ohio State last weekend, tying for the 15th at one-under par. It was the third time this season the Graduate transfer from Butler was the Huskies’ top finisher in a tournament this year.

NIU has three top-five finishes this season, tying with Morehead State for first place at Xavier. The Huskies were fourth at the Rich Harvest Farms Intercollegiate in early October and fifth at the Badger Invitational. An experienced group 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 the competition is strong this year in the MAC,” Carlson said. “We’re going to have a huge support group out here, and they’re going to be loud and strong for the NIU. I can’t wait for our guys to have that experience with spectators that want to see them come down the stretch. and make putts and contend for the Championship and then we’ll just see how it stacks up at the end of the day on Sunday. “

Teams will play 54 holes with one round each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tee times (subject to change) begin at 11 am CT on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s final round will begin at 8 am 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).

—NEU—

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