Northwestern men’s golf qualified for the NCAA Championships with a fourth-placed finish at the Columbus Regional Championship. Paced by a 66 final round for junior Ryan Lumsden, Northwestern will appear in its first NCAA Championships since 2011.
The Wildcats played well all weekend, starting the first round in fourth and not budging despite challenges from No. 25 Wake Forest, Penn State and Michigan State. They saved the best for last, however, shooting 1-over as a team on Wednesday, easily ensuring a spot in the NCAA Championships by 9 strokes. Michigan’s Kyle Mueller won the individual title at 5-under.
The performance will come as a welcome relief for a Northwestern team that suffered a heartbreaking sixth-placed finish in last year’s NCAA Regional. Northwestern men’s golf has been on the upswing in recent years, and its first NCAA Tournament in years is exactly the progress that head coach David Inglis has been working to.
Lumsden finished tied for fourth overall with a 2-under performance over three days. First Team All-Big Ten senior Dylan Wu, playing in his final chance to make the NCAA Championships, was Northwestern’s second best player at 3-over.
Northwestern will next have a chance to back up this performance on May 25-30. This year’s NCAA Championships are being hosted at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma and will be aired on Golf Channel. Northwestern will need to summon a big performance to place in the top eight and make the match play round, but it has the top-line talent to do so. Northwestern is also the only Big Ten school to make the NCAA Championships in both men’s and women’s golf.
In short, Northwestern is a golf school now.