Conference play has ended and it’s time for the NCAA Regionals. Here’s a look at how NU’s golf teams stack up headed into the postseason.
Northwestern travelled to Philadelphia for the Big Ten Championships this past weekend, looking to solidify its place in the NCAA Regionals. The Wildcats had a difficult weekend in Pennsylvania, but still have a chance to make a run towards the NCAA Championships, with regional play set to begin May 13.
The WIldcats checked in at 47th in the rankings heading into the tournament, with the top 60 teams qualifying for the Regionals. With a marginal performance at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the team was a shoo-in to qualify. However, NU turned in one of its worst performances on the season, finishing 13th and putting its season in jeopardy. Illinois claimed the top spot with a 28-over performance, while the Wildcats turned in a 62-over score. Freshman David Nyfjall led the team with a 10-over performance, and Everton Hawkins and Eric McIntosh both turned in 17-over scores.
However, good news arrived for Northwestern shortly after its return to Evanston. The ‘Cats only fell three spots in the rankings and were placed in the Myrtle Beach regional, where they will compete with top-25 teams such as Illinois, Wake Forest, Texas Tech and California. It will take a massive effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships, but Northwestern has a chance, and in a sport like golf where a team is extremely capable of getting hot, it’s important to merely be in the field.
Nyfjall was also announced as the Big Ten Freshman of The Year, highlighting an impressive year from the 51st-ranked amateur in the country.
The regional is set to run May 13-15.
Northwestern will travel to Cle Elum, Wash. for the NCAA Regionals, checking in as the fourth seed in the region. The 16th-ranked Wildcats will be joined by top-15 teams Arkansas and South Carolina, as well as the top-ranked team in the country, USC.
The ‘Cats will be looking to replicate the postseason run that they produced last year. In the 2017-18 season, Northwestern finished sixth in the regional, good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships, before finishing in fourth place in the stroke play portion of the competition and moving on to the match play stage. They ultimately suffered a tight loss in their quarterfinal match with Stanford.
The regional is scheduled to take place May 6-8.