Although the members of the team still have to go out and perform the deed, the circumstances are lining up quite nicely for Northwestern’s golf squad entering Saturday’s Lafayette Jeff Regional.
The majority of the squad enters having played in the regional before. The regional course, Battle Ground G.C., was designed by the same person who designed Northwestern’s home course, Green Acres G.C. And although the Purple Tigers, who shot a 343 to win the Western Sectional at Chippendale G.C., enter the regional round with the fourth lowest sectional team score of the qualifying squads, will be in the final pairings with the host Bronchos and Valparaiso, the two squads with the lowest qualifying scores. Playing the final pairings will give Northwestern an opportunity to play alongside the best competition in the tournament, as well as get a feel for how other schools are faring with time still left to adjust accordingly on the course.
“We know what we have to do,” Northwestern coach Randy Lindgren said. “Right now, we’re playing very well. You can’t control what other teams do. So, one of the things we try to focus on this deep in the tournament is not to worry about the teams we’re playing against. The mindset is basically to not be playing against them, but to play against yourself.”
No. 9-ranked Jeff enters regional play with the lowest team score in the 18-team field with a 333. No. 3 Valpo shot a 336 to win its sectional, and No. 13 Lake Central carded a 339 to top its sectional field. The pairing for Northwestern won’t leave it wondering where it’s stacking up as the tournament unfolds, something that has to be key when considering the fact that only the top three teams punch their tickets to next week’s state finals at The Legends of Indiana G.C. in Franklin.