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Golf: Promise abounds with Big Ten Championships and Augusta National Women’s Amateur on the horizon

There’s some exciting news for Northwestern golf as the most important part of the season approaches.

NU Athletics

Women’s Golf

This weekend, the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be played a week before the most prestigious tournament in the sport is held on the same course. Northwestern senior Stephanie Lau will be competing against the best amateurs in the world in the new tournament.

Lau is heading into the tournament fresh off of a T-1 finish in the PING/ASU Invitational this past weekend. The Fullerton, California native shot 7-under to equal the scores of Bethany Wu of UCLA and Andrea Lee of Stanford, claiming her first collegiate victory. As a team, Northwestern tied for third, falling five strokes short of a winning USC.

Earlier in the month, the 17th-ranked Wildcats opened March with a trip to South Carolina, where it participated in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. Although Northwestern finished down in 12th as a team, freshman Kelly Sim finished in 12th overall as an individual, posting a solid score of four-over. Florida State won the competition, finishing as the only team under par, 17 strokes ahead of second place South Carolina.

Men’s golf

The men’s team opened March with a fourth place finish in the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate. Freshman David Nyfjall led the team, shooting even over three rounds and earning his his third top-10 finish. Nyfjall is the 42nd ranked amateur in the world and is on pace to participate in the U.S. Amateur over the summer. For reference, senior Ryan Lumsden, who participated in the U.S. Open this past year, is ranked 86th.

Lumsden was named as one of five finalists for the Golf Coaches Association of America Byron Nelson Award, which is given to a graduating senior. The selection committee considers, “equally a nominee’s entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as his character and integrity while in college.”

While at Northwestern, Lumsden has earned two individual titles, been named a first-team All Big Ten honoree twice and qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open by posting a 6-under 36-hole score at the Columbus sectional qualifier.

Northwestern concluded the month with a ninth place finish at The Goodwin. Sophomore Eric McIntosh carded a 4-over score to pace the team,with Nyjfall coming in slightly behind him at 5-over.

Both teams have the Big Ten Championships at the end of April. The NCAA Regional and NCAA Championships follow, if the Wildcats can qualify. Last year, the women finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships and the men finished fifth. They’ll both be gunning for more when April concludes.