April 13, 2009

Courtesy of Northwestern

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern fired the best score of the day Sunday in the final round of the Kepler Intercollegiate, holding off No. 38 East Tennessee State to capture the Wildcats' first team tournament title of the year.

The Wildcats entered Sunday's round with a one-stroke advantage over the Buccaneers before firing an 11-over 295, one shot better than the Buc's 12-over 296. Northwestern finished the tournament with a 54-hole total of 40-over 892 to win the 13-team event.

The win is Northwestern's fourth at the Kepler Intercollegiate; NU previously captured the title in 1998, 1999 and 2006, and now is tied with Indiana for the second-most championships in the event's history. The Wildcats now have won 24 team tournament titles in head coach Pat Goss' 13 years at the helm.

With the Wildcats holding onto a one-stroke lead, NU sophomore Josh Dupont (Poway, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) matched ETSU's Paul O'Hare in recording birdies on the final hole for their group, the 435-yard par-4 first. Dupont's birdie on the last hole gave him a 1-under 70 score in the final round, not only the best total of the day but also the field's only under-par round in the entire tournament.

Playing in the final group to complete its round, freshman Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) began his day at No. 3 in the shotgun start. Chun was paired with ETSU's Michael Stewart, who made a double-bogey six against Chun's par on the group's final hole to seal Northwestern's two-stroke victory.

Dupont was the runner-up in the tournament with a 7-over 220 (75-75-70). He charged from a 14th-place tie at the beginning of Sunday's round to finish just two behind medalist Brad Wright, who competed as an individual for Ohio State on his home course. Dupont's second-place effort is the best of his collegiate career and matches teammate Jonathan Bowers' (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) second-place finish at the FAU Spring Break Championship in March for NU's best individual placing of the year.

Chun took sixth place with a 10-over 223 (76-75-72), his best collegiate finish and his second top-10 effort of the year.

Junior David Lipsky (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) shot a 6-over 77 to finish at 11-over 224 (75-72-77), good for 11th place. The reigning Big Ten Golfer of the Week has recorded six top-20 finishes in his eight events this year for Northwestern.

Columbus area product Bowers turned in a final round 5-over 76, making him 12-over par for the tournament with a 225 (75-74-76). Bowers tied for 14th place for the Wildcats.

Senior Andy DeKeuster (Franksville, Wis./Racine Lutheran) carded a score of 8-over 79 to finish in 60th position.

Northwestern returns to action at April 18-19 at the U.S. Intercollegiate hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif. The tournament is the Wildcats' last before next month's Big Ten Championships.