The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, June 10, 1999, Summer Edition, Page 10, Image 11

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    Golfers end season with mixed emotions
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Matt Haney/DN
By John Gaskins
It wasn’t a perfect finish for the Nebraska
men’s golf team, but it’s hard to aigue with the best
team the Comhuskers have ever fielded.
NU finished its record-setting season with a
14th place finish at the NCAA Championships at
Hazeltine National G.C. in Chaska, Minn. Last
weekend. ,
No. 12 Nebraska was as high as fifth at one
time in the tournament. The team went into the
final day in 12th place before dropping to 14th
after shooting the second worst round out of the
final 15 teams.
Nebraska finished at 66-over par for the tour
nament, only 10 strokes behind the 12th place
team, Minnesota.
Georgia, the top ranked team in the country,
won the overall title, coming from behind to
defeat Oklahoma State, which had led each of the
first three rounds.
“We were certainly going in there knowing
and expecting to crack the top 10,” Head Coach
Larry Romjue said, “but you really can’t complain
with being one of the top 15 teams in the country.
“We were right up there, as high as fifth, but
we slipped on the back nine of the third day and
didn’t perform as well as we would have liked in
the final round. But I think you can attribute a lot
of that to the difficulty of the golf course.”
The demanding par-72,7,196-yard Hazeltine
layout has hosted two U.S Open Championships,
^MDS Harris
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most recently in 1991. Both Romjue and the play
ers insisted that Hazeltine’s narrow fairways,
near-knee-high rough and slick greens, not to
mention the rainy and windy conditions of the last
three rounds, made low scores tough for every
“If your game wasn’t on, you were screwed on
that course,” Nebraska senior Josh Madden, who
shot a brutal 87 in the second round, said.
Only three players were under par after four
rounds and NU’s highest finisher, Jaime Rogers,
was 10-over par for the tournament. He tied for
12th place.
“I’m pleased with the fact that I finished 12th,
because I never really thought I was one of the top
30 or 40 players in the nation,” said Rogers, who
was rankedNa48 going into the event.
“But I’m~nbf pleased with the way that I
played. I dogged it the second day, just got nega
tive and down on myself. It’s funny how golf can
do that to^you.”
Rogers opened the eyes of college golf specta
tors and especially Nebraskans everywhere when
he put himself near the top of the leaderboard in
the first round by virtue of a two-under-par 70.
Sitting in second place, he came back with a 78 in
round two that shot his chances at an individual
title. He finished with a pair of 75s.
Steve Friesen was next in line for Nebraska,
shooting 305 for 17-over par and a 51 st-place fin
ish. Friesen shot an 80 in the final round of the
Scott Gutchewski tied for 62nd with a 307,
Josh Madden tied for 71st with a 314 and Seth
Porter was 82"° with a 325.
Luke Donald of
Northwestern won the over
all title with a four-round
total of284, four under par.
Nebraska’s previous best
finish in the ’ NCAA
We were certainly going in
there knowing and
expecting to crack the top
10, but you really can V
complain with being one
of the top 15 teams in the
Larry Romjue
NU head coach
Championships was 21st at the 1973 and 1978
The Championships were the icing on the
cake of the most dominant era in NU’s golfing
history and Romjue’s 30-year career. Nebraska
came within two shots of winning the Big 12
Championship, finished third at the Central
Regional, and in both tournaments beat out tradi
tional Big 12 and southern powerhouses
Oklahoma State and Texas. '
“It gave us a lot of pride being from die north
and being in the top three or four irialrndst every
tournament,” Romjue said.
“You have to give the golfers a lot of credit for
that. They were a talented bunch, they had a lot of
experience, and they were committed tef achiev
ing high. I can’t say I was surprised or that we did
all we could do - we thought we were a top 1 (^cal
iber team. But it was certainly an erijoyableyear
from a coaching standpoint.” J , ,
In other news, Rogers ana Priesen
were both named All-Americans by the
Golf Coaches Association on Monday.
Rogers is a repeat selection while
Friesen is receiving his first honor.
The awards were a huge boost for
the Nebraska program, which Romjue
now has to practically rebuild thanks to
the departure of the team’s top four
golfers due to seniority. Only Porter will
return next year. ! |
“You can’t Replace four seniors with
four freshman and expect as strong of a
team,” Romjuqsaid.
“But this group of guys and our
future teams is what makes coaching
fun - watching people get better. This
team laid the ground for our future
teams to build on.
“We want this season’s, success to
become a tradition for Nebraska golf”
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