There was a wave of optimism riding through the Northwestern golf programs over the past 12 months. It seemed that the ‘Cats were intent on displaying the results of a new landmark Gleacher Golf Center, and in the beginning of the season, both the men and women brought titles and incredible performances back to Evanston.
On the men’s side, the spring season got underway with a title in the Big Ten Match Play tournament. Northwestern had a bit of familiarity with the tournament, having won it four previous times. This time, it was a match tiebreaker against Penn State that was necessary to earn the trophy, but the ‘Cats prevailed.
While the impressive showing was followed up by an average performance at The Prestige, Northwestern came through with another solid outing, finishing third at the Desert Mountain Collegiate. Team number one David Nyfjall had his best performance of the year and earned his fifth top-five finish in the process.
Though Northwestern didn’t have a chance to challenge at the Big Ten tournament or at Nationals, NU will only lose a single senior, and that’s only if Everton Hawkins isn’t granted a redshirt season. The ‘Cats will be loaded when the next season rolls around.
On the women’s side, they kicked off the spring season in similar fashion. Northwestern took home both the team title and individual title in the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, with freshman Irene Kim earning the title in her first spring tournament as a Wildcat.
Sophomore Kelly Sim followed up the performance with a win of her own in the Bruin Wave Invitational, leading wire to wire in an impressive performance that gave NU back-to-back individual titles. The trophy-laden performances didn’t last into the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, where the ‘Cats finished a dreadful 16th out of 17, but the potential for a huge season was there.
The women’s squad is slated to lose two seniors, but there will be plenty of talent that returns either way, and the group will have a chip on its shoulder after starting this season so emphatically.